AIE can fly to Dubai as DCAA revokes suspension

Air India Express, the budget airline of Air India, has been able to revoke the suspension of its flights to Dubai till October 2 by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) for flying passengers with COVID-positive certificates.

Talks at the highest level led to the withdrawal of the suspension that came into effect on Friday.

“All Air India Express flights to Dubai will operate as per schedule w.e.f September 19,” Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted giving much relief to the flyers to UAE late in the day.

Mr. Puri’s tweet came after the AIE asked the affected passengers who have booked to fly to Dubai to choose the option to rebook to a future date.

Now, the Vande Bharat Mission Phase 6 that began from September 1 to repatriate Indians from abroad hit by the pandemic will go as per the announced schedule. Hectic parleys were held after the AIE had to re-route five of its flights from the country bound for Dubai, including those from Kozhikode and Kannur international airports, on Friday to Sharjah International Airport following the DCAA’s action.

Each passenger travelling from India needs to bring an original COVID-negative certificate from the RT-PCR test done 96 hours prior to the journey to the United Arab Emirates. Two incidents, including a passenger, who had a COVID-positive certificate of September 2, travelling on Air India Express' Jaipur-Dubai flight on September 4, led to the suspension.

Although AIE was handed over the ‘notice of suspension’ from DCAA on Thursday itself, the airline rerouted its five flights bound for Dubai to Sharjah international airport citing ‘operational reasons.’

“The notice has been issued on account of erroneous acceptance of one COVID-positive passenger by the airline’s ground handling agents at Delhi and Jaipur on Air India Express flights to Dubai on August 28 and September 4, respectively,” according to the airline.

Appropriate punitive action had been initiated against the employees who have been held accountable for the lapses, according to the airline. A three-tier checking mechanism had been put into place to avoid any such lapse in the future.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:37:36 AM |

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