Res­i­dents stranded in In­dia can re­turn to UAE

The National - News - - NEWS | CORONAVIRU­S - RAMOLA TALWAR BADAM

Thou­sands of In­di­ans will be able to re­turn to the UAE on dozens of flights that will be­gin next week.

The Emi­rati and In­dian gov­ern­ments agreed to op­er­ate spe­cial flights from July 12 to July 26.

The In­dian Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion said the char­ter flights which are cur­rently tak­ing thou­sands of In­di­ans home on repa­tri­a­tion mis­sion are now al­lowed to bring back res­i­dents of the Emi­rates who have been stranded in In­dia since the bor­ders closed in March.

Book­ings will open for pas­sen­gers whose fi­nal des­ti­na­tion is the UAE.

The flight sched­ule will be re­viewed and can be ex­tended, the In­dian min­istry said on Twit­ter.

Those com­ing back to the Emi­rates must have an ICA ap­proval code.

In­dian air­lines will also op­er­ate repa­tri­a­tion flights.

These flights can take the ICA-ap­proved UAE res­i­dents to the Emi­rates on their out­bound jour­ney from In­dia.

The de­ci­sion has brought re­lief to thou­sands in the UAE and In­dia who have been wait­ing to re­turn to their fam­i­lies and jobs.

Abu Dhabi res­i­dent Ma­hamood Pun­javi, 54, has been asked by his com­pany to head back to Ker­ala for a few months.

“I have been wait­ing for two months. There is no work and my salary is al­most noth­ing. As soon as I get a flight I will go back to my fam­ily,” said Mr Pun­javi, who works for a rental car ser­vice in Abu Dhabi and has lived in the UAE for more than 30 years.

He had se­cured a seat on a repa­tri­a­tion flight a month ago but was in quar­an­tine af­ter one of his flat­mates tested pos­i­tive for coro­n­avirus.

“I was not ill and tested neg­a­tive. But be­cause we shared a room, I lost my chance to go home,” he said.

In Ker­ala, Ameen Mo­hammed is re­lieved flights will re­sume be­tween the coun­tries.

“We are now try­ing to find out in­for­ma­tion about whether we need test­ing and if chil­dren be­low 12 re­quire the PCR test,” said the 34-year-old nurse, who works in Abu Dhabi.

The fourth phase of the Sa­lute In­dia Mis­sion be­gan on July 3 to take home In­dian res­i­dents who wanted to leave the Emi­rates.

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