Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Mangaluru airport's rapid RT-PCR test gets approval from UAE, flights to Dubai from Wednesday

Mangaluru: With the UAE Civil Aviation Authority giving nod of approval for the rapid RT-PCR test conducted at the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA), expats can heave a sigh of relief as low cost carrier Air India Express will be commencing its first flight (additional) to Dubai via Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

This will be the first flight to depart from MIA to Dubai almost after four months of UAE government banning flights from India.

Though the UAE permitted expats to fly from India from August 5, airlines could not operate from MIA since rapid RT-PCR test, one of the chief requirements for travelers to enter UAE, was not available here. The rapid RT-PCR facility started on Monday and the UAE’s approval of the test was received by airlines on Tuesday.

Airline sources said Air India Express’ Wednesday flight to Dubai was planned in haste and they would be lucky to fly out with even half the numbers as the passengers would be hard pressed to get RT-PCR test results by the time flight departs 2.45pm from MIA. Also, being an additional flight, it’s a one-stop flight via Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) which will take 6.15 hours to reach Dubai.

"Those expats that know of this flight might be able to make it as the test has to be taken on Tuesday morning to get the results by evening," said an airline official.

17/08/21 Stanley Pinto/Times of India

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