UAE's air carrier Emirates on Sunday announced its decision to extend the suspension of all passenger flights to India until June 14. Travellers who have transited through India in the last 14 days will not be allowed to travel from any other point to the UAE, Emirates added.
Meanwhile, the UAE authorities have announced further restrictions on chartered flights coming from India to UAE. The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced that issuing head-on-head tickets to passengers to bring them on chartered flights will not be allowed.
As a requirement to operate on charter, the UAE aviation authority warned air companies and operatives against permitting passengers more than 8, regardless of the size of the aircraft.
"When business aircraft are used to transport passengers from restricted destinations, they shall not be pooled or sold per seat. Operators hired for pooling or 'per seat offer' may be banned from operation in the UAE. GCAA is collecting all information required from local authorities to verify flight and passenger information," a circular issued by GCAA on Friday said, as cited by Khaleej Times.
After the travel ban and the new directive allowing stranded Indian ex-pats to return to the emirates, it is said that one-way airfares have skyrocketed from Dhs13,000 – 16,000 to Dhs 22,000 – 25,000 (over 4 Lakh INR).
India-UAE air travel suspension took effect from April 24, denying entry for travellers and transit passengers from India while exempting UAE citizens, diplomats, official delegates, business planes and golden residence holders after an extreme surge in Covid-19 cases in India. However, exempted travellers are to adhere to a set of precautionary measures in the UAE upon entry. The measures include PCR test on arrival, mandatory quarantine for ten days and another set of PCR tests on day 4 and 8 since entry into UAE.
The India-UAE travel ban has left hundreds of ex-pats marooned in India, worrying about their further employment status.