The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended the ban on international flights from South Asian countries till August 1. This means travellers from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan on any of the Visa will not be able to travel to the Gulf country. Bans from South Africa and Nigeria have also been extended until the same date.
Note that back on April 24, India to Dubai international flight was suspended due to the second wave of Coronavirus spreading across the country. UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has previously said that inbound passenger traffic from India would remain suspended until further notice.
Earlier on July 18, UAE-based airline Etihad Airlines further suspended its flights from six countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan until July 31 in wake of the pandemic. However, exceptions include UAE nationals, diplomats or those who hold Golden Visa. Such persons are required to conduct PCT tests maximum of 48 hours before the flight departure.
While Etihad has set July 31 as the date for resumption of flights from India, there is no confirmation of a date from the government as of yet. Another airline Emirates, last week, said the resumption of flights from India and Pakistan are subject to a UAE “government review” and that the carrier will wait for authorities to make a decision.
As per travel industry experts, expats stuck in India should wait for the UAE Government confirmation on resumption of flights before making any flight bookings. At the moment, some airlines are selling non-refundable tickets and it is better to wait for official approval before making any flight booking.
It is worth adding that Dubai is one of the popular destinations for both leisure and business travellers. There was a huge demand to reopen flights on this route since the number of COVID-19 cases has declined exponentially in India.