Flights to bring back Indians delayed by at least 24-48 hours

Flights to bring back Indians delayed by at least 24-48 hours

Wait for Indians gets longer as Air India crew need to undergo COVID-19 tests

The wait to return home for thousands of Indians abroad has become slightly longer after the government’s plan to send 64 flights to 12 countries was deferred on Wednesday by 24 to 48 hours. Multiple government sources confirmed that the delay was because Air India crew are required to undergo COVID-19 tests.

“Destination countries require the crew to be COVID-19 negative. These are a significant number of pilots and cabin crew who are required to undergo the test on a short notice,” a government official said.

As per the original plan, flights from six countries were scheduled to land on May 7, but will now come either on May 8 or 9.

The first flight from the U.S., scheduled to arrive in Mumbai from San Francisco at 4 a.m. on May 7, now stands delayed by 48 hours.

Similarly, a flight scheduled to arrive in Delhi from Washington DC at 1 p.m. on May 7 will now land on May 9.

The first from London was scheduled to arrive in Mumbai at 1.30 a.m. on May 7, but this will now bring back Indians two days later.

This delay will have a cascading effect on the entire seven-day plan chalked by the government. It was earlier scheduled to end on May 13.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted on Wednesday, “Air India will be the designated agency for receiving applications, issuing tickets and handling flight related activities”.

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