Coronavirus: Airline seats still available for India repatriation flights, Dubai consulate says

Indian officials said about 275,000 citizens have been flown home in recent months

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Indians in the UAE who want to return home were encouraged to take up seats on repatriation flights while they are still available.

India's Consulate General in Dubai said there were "plenty of seats" still to be booked on a series of outbound flights run by Air India and other carriers.

"We feel that there might be some people who are stuck, and wish to get back to India, but they have not been able to do so due to a lack of knowledge and means to get the tickets for their journey," the consulate wrote on Twitter.

"Around 90 flights are still going until August 15 to all airports in Kerala, Delhi, Gaya, Varansi, Amritsar, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Trichy, Chennai, Mubai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mangalore and Lucknow."

It said more flights to run between August 16 and 31 would be announced shortly.

Emirates, flydubai, Air Arabia, Spicejet, Indigo, Go Air and Vistara together plan about 100 flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in the coming weeks, it said.

All tickets should be bought directly from airlines and not through the consulate or embassy.

Officials reiterated that UAE residents whose visas have expired since March 1 must leave the country by August 10 to avoid overstay fines and penalties.

Consular officials could only help residents, who have lost their job for example, with flights once they had "exhausted all options to book your tickets".

Despite the number of flights and destinations available, officials urged travellers to be prepared to fly to a neighbouring state or city, rather than hold out for convenient fights and risk overstaying their visa.

The consulate's help page is available at