Saturday, August 07, 2021

UAE flights: Stranded expats fly back on Day 2

Dubai: Hundreds of stranded Indians flew into Dubai and Sharjah on the second day after the resumption of flights for certain exempted inbound passengers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda.

Over 28 flights from India brought stranded expats into Dubai and Sharjah airports on Friday, according to an estimate by Khaleej Times based on the information from the airlines’ websites. A total of 20 flights landed in Dubai and eight in Sharjah. Most of the flights operated at about 50 per cent of their capacity, according to sources.

Khaleej Times spoke to a few passengers who arrived from various Indian cities at the Dubai International Airport on Friday.

Saravanan Ravi Kumar, who works at a hospitality management firm at the Dubai World Trade Centre, reached Dubai in the early hours of Friday. The Dubai resident had travelled to India to be with his ailing mother. But he remained stranded in his hometown for several months. “I had gone to India in April for just a week. I remained stranded ever since. As I read about the news on the resumption of flights, I booked the tickets and got hold of every document that was required.”

Saravanan said the rapid PCR test at the Chennai Airport costs around Rs4,000 (Dh200). “I paid about Rs30,000 (Dh1,500) for a one way ticket of Emirates airline from Chennai. One has to reach the airport at least five hours before the take-off to complete all the required procedures,” he added.

Upon arrival in Dubai, Saravanan underwent a PCR test at the airport and was advised to stay isolated until the result was out.

In another instance, it was a joyful reunion for a Dubai family when expat Saju Kizhakkekara and his wife met their children after a gap of four months.

07/08/21 SM Ayaz Zakir/Khaleej Times

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