Sent back midway, KLM flight to land with 120 Indians in Delhi tonight

By Ashoke Raj

New Delhi [India], Mar 22 (ANI): Dutch-based KLM flight will land at the international airport here with over 100 Indians today in the evening. Indian authorities have confirmed to ANI that "KL-871 Amsterdam to Delhi flight has been given permission to land at Delhi airport. Over 100 Indians are on-board and is expected to land at Delhi airport around 2000 Hrs."

"Flight KL871/20 March from Amsterdam to Delhi had to be redirected to Schiphol due to conflicting information on the entry restrictions in the country," KLM said in a statement.

"120 passengers on board this aircraft are residents of India, who were on their way to Delhi via a transfer at Schiphol, are now on airside at Schiphol. In the current situation with government regulations changing rapidly, KLM ensures to abide and respect the regulations by the Indian authorities."

"KLM will fly these passengers if and only a final agreement is provided by the authorities in India. KLM is committed to doing everything it can to repatriate as many travelers as possible," said the statement.

"KLM will re-operate flight KL 872 for the passengers in Delhi who were supposed to return to Amsterdam on the above-mentioned flight for a departure on the night of 22 March," added KLM in the statement.

Earlier, the Government of India had issued an advisory on March 19 that travel ban across countries and continents. India has temporarily banned all passengers coming from a host of countries and vice-versa.

The list includes European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden), European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), Turkey and the United Kingdom have been prohibited from entering India from any of the Land/Air/Seaport ICPs.

"Further, all passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait will be placed under compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days, which shall come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020, at the port of the first departure," reads the advisory.

A total number of confirmed coronavirus cases so far in the country, as on March 22 including foreign nationals is 341 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (ANI)