Friday, July 02, 2021

Air Arabia fly to Sharjah from Kozhikode to ferry 4 Indian businessmen

UAE-based Indian businessmen Rashid Abbas along with his compatriots Mohammed Kutty, Farooq, and Noushad were pleasantly surprised to have the entire aircraft to themselves when they recently travelled on an Air Arabia flight from Kozhikode, Kerala, to Sharjah on economy class on Thursday morning (July 1).

“Business, partner and investor visa holders are allowed to enter the UAE if they can produce valid documents,” Rashid told 'Khaleej Times'.

He said that they had registered with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Air Arabia before booking their tickets. He also confirmed that it was not mandatory for the passengers to be administered both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to get the prior approval to travel back to the UAE.

“We got approval from GCAA and Air Arabia. We produced our Emirates ID, valid visa and passport to the authorities. We booked our ticket after we got the approval, which took around four-five days,” he said.

“The procedure is quite easy. UAE residents, who are stuck in India due to the travel ban since April 24, have no knowledge of this facility provided by the authorities,” he added.

Indians, who are UAE residents and are stuck back home due to the travel ban, are trying to explore various routes to reach their home-away-from home to safeguard their jobs, businesses and career prospects.

They are even ready to cough up an exorbitant price for a one-way ticket to the UAE.

For instance, these businessmen paid Dh8,500 for a one-way ticket.

“We paid Dh8,500 for a one-way ticket to Sharjah. We had another option -- to charter an eight-seater plane from Kozhikode, which cost Dh22,000 for a one-way ticket. But Air Arabia was comparatively cheaper,” he added.

The Kozhikode International Airport (KIA) authorities pulled out all stops to facilitate the passengers’ travel back to the UAE.

“There were only a few people working at the airport. They resumed their duty for just four hours to facilitate our travel,” he said.

01/07/21 SM Ayaz Zakir/Khaleej Times

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