Middle East

After the United States, UAE too stops Air India’s repatriation flights; pressure mounts on India govt to allow foreign airlines to carry out their own rescue flights

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has told India’s flag carrier Air India that transportation of passengers — whether UAE nationals or not — to the emirates will not be allowed.

If any one wishes to fly on a Vande Bharat Mission flight from India to Dubai, he or she will require “specific approval from the Embassy of UAE in New Delhi and UAE ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation (MOFAIC),” said an Air India spokesperson on Wednesday.

“All passengers including the Indian Nationals who are holding valid Residency Permit/Work Permit of United Arab Emirates and have procured approval of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship-UAE (ICA) of United Arab Emirates or an approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs applicable to Dubai would need to have specific approval from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in New Delhi and their UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to travel from India to United Arab Emirates (UAE) on these repatriation flights,” the spokesperson said.

These curbs come amid growing pressure on the Indian government to allow foreign airlines to carry passengers from India.

Earlier, the US Department of Transportation had also barred Air India from operating chartered flights between India and the United States without its prior approval, in an apparent retaliation for the Indian government not allowing American carriers to operate between the two countries.

“We are taking this action because the Government of India (GoI) has impaired the operating rights of US carriers and has engaged in discriminatory and restrictive practices with respect to US carrier services to and from India,” stated a US Department of Transportation (DOT) order.