Thursday, June 24, 2021

Indian airlines say flight suspension from India to UAE to continue until July 6

Indian citizens trying to return to Dubai remained grounded on Wednesday, because airlines said they had not yet received approval from UAE authorities.

Air India said it did not have permission to sell tickets or allow passengers to board flights to Dubai.

Emirates said it was waiting for "travel protocols and relevant permits from the government authorities before resuming our flights from India to Dubai", in tweets to passengers.

Dubai authorities on Saturday said fully vaccinated Indians with UAE residency visas would be permitted to travel from June 23.

The UAE stopped passengers travelling from India on April 25 amid a surge in cases and the emergence of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

A handful of exceptions included diplomats, Emiratis and golden visa holders.

P P Singh, regional manager for Air India and Air India Express, said bookings for flights from India had not opened.

“We are waiting for formal instructions from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority," he told The National.

"As of now, there is no change in the restrictions. There have been no new instructions to the airlines."

The airline repeated a previous advisory that flights were suspended until July 6.

“In view of travel restrictions announced by the UAE government, flights between India and UAE are suspended till 6th July. Please keep a watch on our Twitter handle and website for further updates,” the airline said on Twitter.

One Air India flight landed in Dubai from Amritsar, northern India, on Wednesday.

Flights to Dubai are allowed to carry passengers who are exempt from the travel restrictions, including diplomats and residents with golden visas.

Anil Punjabi, chairman of the Travel Agents Federation of India in the eastern region, said travel groups were flooded with calls asking for updates.

“They fulfil the criteria of having a double dose of vaccine but they are stranded," he said.

23/06/21 Ramola Talwar Badam/National

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