AI Express seeks UAE nod to fly people on India-Dubai sector of Vande Bharat flights

Dubai recently said that it will conditionally reopen its doors for tourists from July 7 and has allowed foreign nationals holding residency visas issued in Dubai to return to the emirate from Monday (June 22).
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Air India Express has sought clearance from UAE to fly Indians working in Dubai from India on the India-Dubai leg of Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights.

Dubai government has allowed foreign nationals holding residency visas issued in Dubai to return to the emirate starting Monday (June 22), and will open its doors to tourists from July 7.

A large number of UAE-working  Indians are still in India and want to return to their jobs and homes in Dubai.

An Air India Express spokesman said the airline has “not yet received approval from UAE authorities to carry passengers on our VBM flights, although we have requested for it.”

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“Once we get government nod to fly out people from India to UAE on our VBM flights, we will begin doing so,” said a private airline official.

Social media is full with pleas from Indians who are currently in their homeland and are desperately trying to return to their jobs, homes, and families in the UAE.

Air India has been operating VBM flights to the countries that are allowing certain categories of non-citizens to return like the US, Canada, UK and Singapore.

Dubai recently said that it will conditionally reopen its doors for tourists from July 7 and has allowed foreign nationals holding residency visas issued in Dubai to return to the emirate from Monday (June 22).

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It had also announced new air travel protocols for Dubai citizens, residents and visitors on Sunday.

On the issue of “return of UAE residents”, the government of Dubai’s media office said on its website Sunday: “Residents holding Dubai-issued visas are permitted to return to the emirate by pre-booking flights on any airline on the condition that they obtain an approval coordinated between the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA Dubai) and the airline. Residents must fill a ‘health declaration form’ before embarking on their journey to confirm they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. The airline has the right to refuse boarding if passengers display any symptoms of COVID-19.”

On arrival at Dubai, all residents will have to undergo a PCR test to screen them for COVID-19.

Also, residents will need to register their complete details in the COVID-19 DXB smart app available online on arrival and before leaving the terminal.

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