Emirates to have repatriation flights to five Indian cities

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Health workers test an Indian citizen at Dubai International Airport before he boards a repatriation flight. — Courtesy photo
Health workers test an Indian citizen at Dubai International Airport before he boards a repatriation flight. — Courtesy photo

ABU DHABI — Emirates Airline is to operate repatriation flights to five Indian cities over the next fortnight as part of a major drive to assist thousands of people left in limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special flights — to Bengaluru, Delhi, Kochi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram from July 12 to July 26 — will ensure many Indians stuck in the Emirates for several months can return home.

Emirates said flights to Bengaluru and Mumbai are subject to state government approval.

Tickets can be booked on the Emirates website , through travel agents, Emirates' sales office and its contact center.

Passengers must meet all the entry requirements of the destination to be allowed to board the flights.

In a statement announcing the special flights, Emirates said flights from India to Dubai would be available "for UAE nationals and residents with prior entry approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDFRA) for residents of Dubai and ICA approval for residents of other emirates of the UAE".

The statement did not make clear if return flights to the UAE would be made available from all five Indian destinations.

All passengers travelling from airports in India to Dubai are also required to carry a negative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) certificate issued by a laboratory authorized by the government of India to be accepted on the flight. Certificates must be issued no more than 96 hours before departure.

Emirates reiterated that only Indian citizens stranded in the UAE would be able to board the newly-announced flights from Dubai.

More than 450,000 Indians registered with the consulate in Dubai and embassy in Abu Dhabi and about 90,000 had returned home as of last month. — Agencies


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