Emirates airliners are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai. UAE has extended curbs on travellers from India till June 14 (Reuters)
NEW DELHI: UAE had extended restriction on travellers from India till June 14 for now. UAE, the biggest international destination for Indian travellers, had imposed restriction from April 25 due to the unfolding Covid catastrophe in India.
“Emirates has suspended passenger flights from India until June 14, 2021. Furthermore, passengers who have transited through India in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE. UAE nationals, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of diplomatic missions who comply with the revised published COVID-19 protocols will be exempt for travel,” Dubai-based mega carrier Emirates said on its website Sunday.
To be sure, all the over 20 countries which have imposed resections on travel from India starting mid-April when Covid situation was beginning to get out of hand here — either in the form of flight suspension (like Canada, Hong Kong) or allowing entry to very few categories of visitors from here (like US, UK, Germany and UAE) — will lift the same only when the pandemic gets under control in the country.
“It is best people do not buy air tickets expecting travel to resume from dates being announced by different countries, to avoid their money getting stuck with airlines. When that actually happens completely depends on when the situation in India improves to a point that countries are no longer sceptical of allowing visitors from here,” said a Delhi-based travel agent.
UAE has in past few days forced stricter rules to prevent the fast-spreading virus mutant playing havoc in India from reaching its shores by constantly tightening regulations. It has barred business jet operators from selling individual seats on charters headed to the country from Covid hotspots. Also anyone who has been in India in last 14 days cannot travel to UAE even via a third country.
Earlier this month, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) had ruled that only a maximum of eight passengers can now fly into the UAE on business jets till further orders. “Depending on the size of the aircraft, business jets can accommodate anything between six to 35 passengers. However, irrespective of the size of the charter, the requirements for business aircraft or small-body private jets clearly state that the number of passengers on board a flight cannot be more than eight passengers,” a GCAA circular earlier this month had said.
Both the charter restrictions are mainly aimed at India due to the massive demand from the country by eligible category of travellers. Barring some exceptions like UAE nationals, residents and diplomats, the carriage of other passengers from India to UAE was suspended from April 25.