Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Airlines wary of flying people from UK to Chennai

Chennai: Airlines have become cautious while boarding passengers from London to Chennai and other cities in the country as the Union government has instructed that passengers flying via transit airports should not be allowed.

Checks are also high Dubai, a popular transit hub, after an airline got penalised when a Covid-19 positive passenger flew from the UAE to Chennai recently. Airlines are checking documents at Dubai to find out if all passengers to Chennai are originating from Dubai or whether they are coming from the UK.

The heightened travel restrictions in London and document screening in Dubai have affected passenger confidence to travel abroad, said Basheer Ahmed of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).

Earlier, passengers from London were allowed to fly via transit airports such as Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and a few others. Now this has been stopped as the government wants to restrict the number of passengers who land in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi from the UK.

An airport official said the scrutiny of documents is high at airports abroad. “This has made travel a hassle for people, especially those who want to come from the UK because there are fewer direct flights to Chennai. Air India is flying while British Airways is resuming schedule only from next month. There is an uncertainty whether the flights will continue or not.”

“A majority of the people have to land in Mumbai and Delhi. But they have to spend more to travel to Chennai by domestic flights because domestic fares have increased,” said Ahmed.

A London-Chennai one-way ticket costs Rs 30,000 while London-Mumbai flight costs Rs27,000 for travel in the second week of next month because the route has more flights. However, passengers have to pay Rs 4,500 to 5,000 on the Mumbai-Chennai leg. Most of the travel is not booked much in advance as there is a need for registrations and approvals.

26/01/21 Times of India

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