Friday, May 21, 2021

Heathrow red list flights: Virgin Atlantic and Air India defend ‘essential’ travel

Three major airlines are continuing to run passenger services between London and India and two of them have defended doing so.

Air India, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are all running near-daily passenger flights from Mumbai and Delhi, despite them being on the government’s red list.

There is no direct flight ban from India, but Number 10 has already come under fire for failing to restrict travel to the country sooner, following the rapid spread of the Indian-variant of COVID-19 .

Gatwick currently has no flights from any red zone countries. But airlines at Heathrow are still offering flights for trips deemed essential.

There is no overall definition for what qualifies as ‘essential’ and no proof is required to demonstrate a trip can be classified in this way.

The government website says: “Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments which you need to attend to. Only you can make an informed decision based on your own individual circumstances and the risks.”

20/05/21 Zak Garner-Purkis/My London

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