Saudi Arabia bans flights from India as COVID-19 cases rise

Indian nationals from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, arrive by a Vande Bharat Mission flight at Kozhikode airport, Kerala.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday banned all flights from and to India for14 days and South Korea imposed restrictions on certain categories of Indian visa-holders travelling on chartered flights due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases here.

The decision will impact nearly 30 flights operated by the Air India Group - 28 of Air India Express and two of Air India- under the Vande Bharat Mission to Saudi Arabia over the next two weeks. Private airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet will also be cancelling their chartered flights to the middle-eastern country.

The Indian Embassy in Seoul also issued a circular on the latest guidelines of the Republic of Korea. It has imposed entry restrictions on certain categories of Indian visa-holders travelling on chartered flights. There are no restrictions for those entering the country on scheduled flights. There are no Vande Bharat flights scheduled to Seoul.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor South Korea are among the countries with which India has a special agreement for limited number of scheduled flights.

Last week, Dubai suspended Air India Express flights after the airline failed to screen two passengers carrying COVID-19 positive certificates. However, the decision was reversed within 24 hours.

Hong Kong, which was the first country to ban Air India flights last month due to COVID-19 positive passengers travelling onboard, recently extended its suspension until October 3.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 10:28:27 PM |

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