Monday, December 21, 2020

Beating 11.59 deadline: Air India, Vistara advance London departures

New Delhi: The two Indian airlines that fly to London — Air India and Vistara — have advanced their Tuesday departures from India so that they can return here before the 11.59 pm deadline for flight suspension from the UK to set in.

Air India has preponed its Mumbai-London flight (AI 131) by over five hours to depart at 2.30 am on Tuesday. It is scheduled to reach London Heathrow at 6.20 am and depart from there at 8.20 am to reach Kochi at 11.35 pm on Tuesday — just before the 11.59 pm Tuesday deadline for passenger flights from UK to land in India (all timings local).

Vistara’s Delhi-London flight will depart at 4 am on Tuesday, 10 hours ahead of its schedule departure time of 2 pm. It is scheduled to return to Delhi at 11 pm on Tuesday.

Both the airlines have informed their passengers about the flight rescheduling.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a circular said: “In view of emerging Covid-19 situation in United Kingdom, the competent authority has temporarily suspended flight to/from UK with effect from 11.59 pm of December 22, 2020. Therefore, no flights from UK will land in India after 11.59 pm on December 22, 2020. Airlines shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. Consequently, flights from India to UK shall also remain suspended.”

“However, this restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. Airlines operating flights to/from India from other countries shall not board any passenger travelling from United Kingdom to India and shall ensure that no passenger coming from United Kingdom is boarded in a fight for any destination in India either directly or indirectly,” the DGCA circular added.

21/12/20 Sauabh Sinha/Times of India

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