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Saudi Arabia Partially Relaxes Ban on Flights from India, Allows Only Out-Bound Passengers

Air India Express

Air India Express

In a circular issued on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) imposed a ban on flights to and from India due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Saudi Arabia has partially relaxed its suspension on international flights from India. The country has now decided to allow scheduled flights to fly from India while retaining the suspension on passengers flying from India to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia banned flights to and from India on Tuesday amid a surge in coronavirus cases. In a circular issued on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said it was "suspending travel to and from the following countries: (India, Brazil and Argentina) including any person who has been in any of the mentioned countries above in the last 14 days prior to their arrival to the Kingdom”.

However, it excluded "passengers who have official government invitations. The GACA circular — titled: Suspension of travel to countries where the COVID-19 virus has outbreak’ — was marked to all the airlines and chartered flight companies operating at the Saudi Arabia’s airports.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE host a significant Indian migrant population. Five days back, Air India Express had said the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) suspended its flights for 24 hours for bringing two passengers with COVID-positive certificates on August 28 and September 4.

Dubai is the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the outbreak. However, special international flights have been operating between India and Saudi Arabia since May 6 under the Vande Bharat mission. India’s COVID-19 caseload has reached 56,46,010, and the death toll has climbed to 90,020 with 1,085 people succumbing to the disease in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry’s data updated at 8 am Wednesday showed.

Also Watch:

After one-day suspension for bringing passengers with COVID-positive certificates, Air India Express resumed its Dubai flights on Saturday. According to rules of the UAE government, every passenger travelling from India is required to bring an original COVID-negative certificate of an RT-PCR test done within 96 hours prior to the journey.


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