India to UAE flight ban could extend beyond August 7, says Etihad

Flight restrictions have been in place since April to stem the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant

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Latest update: UAE to ease flight restrictions from six countries including India and Pakistan

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Etihad Airways has said passenger flights from India to Abu Dhabi could remain suspended after August 7, depending on information received from UAE authorities.

A ban on flights from India to the UAE began on April 25 after a surge in Covid-19 cases in India and the emergence of the fast spreading Delta variant.

A limited number of flights are operating from the UAE to India.

Etihad said “we’re not sure if the suspension will be extended” in response to a question from a passenger who asked if she should reschedule a connecting flight on August 8 from India to Chicago via Abu Dhabi.

On Saturday, an official at the Etihad call centre said the restrictions may continue.

“The suspension on flights from India to the UAE is currently until August 7. But there is a chance this suspension will be extended by UAE authorities from August 8 onwards,” the official said.

Last week, Emirates announced an extension of the suspension of passenger flights from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Dubai until at least August 7, in line with UAE government directives.

Both airlines have regularly revised information about the ban on travel from all four countries in recent weeks.

Emirates also said passengers who transited through India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka in the past 14 days would not be permitted to travel from any other destination to the UAE.

Residents keen on returning to the UAE from the four countries have taken the long way back, after spending two weeks in countries such as Armenia, Maldives, Serbia, Uzbekistan and Ethiopia.

UAE citizens, residents with golden visas, members of diplomatic missions, and people with UAE visas that have Expo 2020 Dubai as a sponsor are exempt from the restrictions and can travel to the UAE.

Etihad and Emirates have asked travellers to check the latest travel regulations for entry to specific destinations or they may not be allowed to board their flights.

India reported more than 41,000 new Covid-19 cases and about 600 deaths in the past 24 hours, with more than 37,000 patients recovering.

More than 423,800 people have from the disease in India, official figures showed.

Updated: August 04, 2021, 7:26 AM