The Govt. of India on Wednesday extended the restrictions on flights between India and UK (United Kingdom) till February 14 amid the risk of new coronavirus strain.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in a letter to British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airlines said that the restrictions on flights between India and the UK have been extended till February 14 (23.59 hours).
The flight operation between both countries has resumed on 08th January with a limited capacity of 15 weekly flights by Indian and UK carriers, till 23rd January 23 which is later extended till the end of January 2021.
The decision has been taken based on the situation of the new and more infectious strain of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom.
“The frequency, 15 weekly by Indian and as many by British carriers, will remain till 11.59 pm (India time) of February 14, 2021. The other terms and conditions remain unchanged The current approval are up to January 30,” said a senior DGCA official.
Flight Operation Between India and UK
India had put an embargo on flight services between the two countries in December last year. Initially, the ban was till December 31 but was later extended to the first week of January.
That time, 67 flights per week were operated by four airlines — British Airways (29), Air India (23), Virgin Atlantic (8), and Vistara (7) — between London and 10 Indian cities including Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Goa, Amritsar and Kochi under an air bubble agreement.
Currently, flights to and from the UK are operating out of only Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.
New Covid-19 variant spread to 70 countries: WHO
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK last week said that the new COVID-19 variant might be deadlier than the previous one. Citing a report, Johnson said that there is “early evidence” to suggest that the new mutated variant may be more deadly.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the new variant has spread to 70 countries, adding that the variant emerging from South Africa has spread to 31 countries. On the other hand, several vaccine manufacturers have assured that their COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the new variant.