The suspension will be from September 18 to October 2.
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) has suspended Air India Express flights flying to and from Dubai for 15 days, starting September 18 until October 3.
The authority, in a notice of suspension to the regional of Air India and Air India Express in the Gulf and Mena region, has informed the airline that the 15-day suspension officially began on 12 am on Friday, September 18 and will end on 11.59pm on October 2.
Khaleej Times has seen a copy of this notice. DCAA has made the decision on the grounds that the airline flew two passengers carrying Covid-19 positive test results from India to Dubai on two separate occasions.
The notice said, “Boarding a passenger with Covid 19 Positive test result for the second time, is contrary to and is in violation of the laid down procedures and/or protocols relating to air travel to and from Airports in the Emirate of Dubai, during the Coronavirus SARS Cov2 pandemic.”
DCAA has asked Air India to pay for all the expenditure incurred by the respective authorities for medical and/ or quarantine of any passengers and other passengers in that flight for any connected expenditure.
The notice added, “For the resumption of operation to Dubai Airports, you will be requested to submit a detailed corrective action/procedure implemented to prevent such incidents from occurring again, for this authority review and assessment.”
Air India Express has been operating special repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission banner since May, ever since India has shut down its scheduled international flights amid the pandemic. However, India has created an air bubble agreement with UAE that is valid till October 31.
In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times, Neeraj Agarwal, Consul – Press, Information, and Culture, said a total of 368,000 Indians have been repatriated since the start of the Vande Bharat Mission. Roughly 6,000- 6,500 passengers are flying between both countries every day, with a higher prevalence of reverse migration.
Khaleej Times has reached out to the Air India Express, the Consulate General of India in Dubai. Responses are awaited.
The UAE has made it mandatory for all incoming passengers to procure a Covid-19 negative test result. From India, passengers can get the test results from a Pure Health or an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved laboratory.