The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has suspended Air India Express flights till October 2 for flying COVID-19 positive passengers to the country. As per the officials, despite having COVID-19 positive certificate, AI Express carried two passengers during the last couple of weeks. The recent incident was recorded on September 4 when the budget-arm of India's national air carrier Air India flew a passenger who was tested covid positive on September 2.
As per the UAE government rules, each passenger travelling from India need to bring original COVID-negative certificate from RT-PCR test done 96 hours prior to the journey.
"A passenger, who had a COVID-positive certificate dated September 2, travelled on Air India Express' Jaipur-Dubai flight on September 4. A similar incident had happened with a passenger on one of the airline's other Dubai flights previously," said one of the officials. Therefore, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has suspended Air India Express flights from September 18 to October 2, the officials stated.
The said passenger flew on the AI Express Jaipur-Dubai flight IX 1135. Air India Express said it is focusing on reducing the hardship of the passengers and it plans to operate its four Dubai flights, scheduled to operate from India on Friday, to Sharjah instead.
The AI Express flights will be barred from entering the country from September 18 till October 2 midnight and will operate from Sharjah to continue transporting passengers bound for Dubai.
"You are aware of the previous intimation made to you by our letter dated September 2, for boarding a passenger with a COVID-19 positive result, who endangered the other passengers on board and also caused a serious health risk," the letter to the regional manager of Air India Express said.
The letter also added that boarding a passenger with the infection, for the second time, "is contrary to and is in violation of the laid down procedure...in the Emirate of Dubai, during the coronavirus SARS Cov. 2 pandemic."
Currently Air India Express is operating flights to Dubai under the Air Bubble pact and Dubai is among the busiest destinations for passengers from India. Also, the IPL 2020 is scheduled from September 19 and Dubai is allowing tourists to fly into the country.
With Inputs from PTI.