Tamil Nadu

Empty flights land in Chennai, even as many remain stranded abroad

CHENNAI: 03-07-2020---- International and domestic  passsenger flight services are stopped due to Covid 19. Only few special flight serviices are on. A Air India flight arriving for landing at Chennai Airport.   Photo: K. V Srinivasan/The Hindu

CHENNAI: 03-07-2020---- International and domestic passsenger flight services are stopped due to Covid 19. Only few special flight serviices are on. A Air India flight arriving for landing at Chennai Airport. Photo: K. V Srinivasan/The Hindu

Even as several Indians remain stranded abroad, three flights operated by two leading Middle East-based airlines, from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have landed in Chennai, empty, in the last two days, according to airport sources.

Passengers have, on multiple occasions, expressed their desperation to return to Chennai, on social media networks like Twitter. Abdoul Rahim, a passenger, had posted: “I am in Dubai, stranded with an expired visit visa. I have registered with CGI and tried to book a flight through the Vande Bharath Mission. But couldn’t get any tickets. I want to go to Chennai and I need a ticket urgently. Please let me know how to book one.” Another passenger, Ashok Kumar, had posted: “Dear sir, I am a patient with a liver ailment, stuck in Dubai, and need to get to Chennai for a liver transplant immediately. Please help.”

“A leading Middle East airlines had requested the State government to permit them to bring people to the city. But this did not happen as there was a condition imposed on them regarding the quarantine of passengers. The airline was asked if it could coordinate with hotels and arrange accommodation for passengers,” an airport source said.

The airport has been getting Vande Bharat flights on a daily basis and providing both government and hotel accommodation is now a priority. “Since there are already several Vande Bharat flights coming in, it will be difficult to arrange quarantine facilities for more passengers,” he added.

When contacted, a senior official in the Public Department said, “We have not received any request from them”.

Another government official said that many hotels were coming forward and an adequate number of rooms was available. “It is not true that there is a dearth of hotel rooms. Several hotels are still ready and are waiting to make arrangements for passengers to remain under quarantine,” he said.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 1:05:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/empty-flights-land-in-chennai-even-as-many-remain-stranded-abroad/article32133586.ece