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The suspension on flights from India to UAE has been extended until July 21. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: The suspension on flights from India to UAE has been extended until July 21.

UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority, in a Notice Issued to Airmen (NOTAM), said flights from India and 13 other countries, including Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and South Africa, will remain suspended until 23:59 hrs of July 21, 2021.

The notice stated that cargo flights as well as business and charter flights would be exempted from the restrictions.

Flights from Indian cities were expected to resume on June 23 after Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said passengers from India with a valid residence visa who have received two doses of a UAE-approved vaccine, will be allowed to travel.

Airlines have currently opened bookings from July 6 onwards.

Starting from April 24, GCAA and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) suspended all inbound flights for national and international carriers coming from India.

The travel suspension includes inbound transit passengers with exception of transit flights coming to the UAE and heading to India. The GCAA had previously stated that UAE nationals and diplomatic missions between the two countries, official delegations, businessmen's planes and golden residence holders are excluded from the decision, provided that they should take preventive measures that include a mandatory 10-day quarantine and a PCR test at the airport as well as another test on the fourth and eighth days of entering the country.

The new protocol also said passengers from India were required to undergo a rapid PCR test four hours prior to departure to Dubai. One explanation for the delay offered by industry sources is that airports in India still lack the facilities for the rapid test.

This “is something which all the international airports currently are not equipped with… both governments are working closely in addressing that issue,” said Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, during an interview with Big FM last week.