Dubai: India has revoked landing permits issued to UAE-based private jets flying Indian expatriates stuck back home in India, days after also stopping UAE airlines from chartering repatriation flights to India, Gulf News has learnt.
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stopped issuing landing permits and cancelled the already approved ones for private jets from the UAE on Tuesday, industry sources told Gulf News on Wednesday.
Permission issued to UAE-based private jets scheduled to fly back UAE residents from India on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were revoked until further notice, they said.
“From yesterday onwards, we have some issues going on. In fact, all the landing permits that DGCA had issued up to July 10 have been cancelled,” said Ahmed Shajeer, head of chartered division, Hadid International Services.
Shajeer, whose company provides permits and navigation-related flight support services to various aviation companies providing private jet services, said a few private jets that were chartered from different Indian cities to Dubai had been cancelled due to this.
He said the DGCA also informed aviation companies that any UAE private jet that departs with a cancelled permit to India would be confiscated.
In a statement to Gulf News, DC Aviation of Al-Futtaim said: “As a result of the DGCA suspension of flights into India, our Challenger 604 aircraft, which was scheduled to land in Dubai today, has been affected.”
The flight was supposed to bring 11 people from Mumbai to Dubai on Wednesday, it was learnt.
Shajeer said the company had facilitated chartering of dozens of private jets from India to the UAE during the recent weeks due to the COVID-19 travel chaos.
It is not just the wealthy business families who have flown back to the UAE after being stuck in India for more than three months, he said.
Many people who have flown on business jets included desperate people who were afraid of losing their jobs.
“We have seen many customers struggling to catch a seat on private jets also. Many were afraid of losing their jobs. They took the risk of spending so much money to fly on private jets because they had got emails from their companies saying they had to report on a specific date or else they would be terminated. One customer said he had sold his children's gold jewellery to fly back.”
Shajeer added that permission issued to flights scheduled from July 11 onwards have not been affected, hoping that the standoff in return of UAE residents from India would be resolved by the two countries by then.
On July 4, Gulf News first reported that community organisations chartering flights from UAE airlines to repatriate stranded Indians faced cancellation of their flights after India’s Civil Aviation Ministry denied approvals, shattering the hopes of hundreds who intended to fly back home.
Speaking to Gulf News on Saturday, representatives of different community groups had confirmed that the repatriation flights that they had chartered with UAE airlines stood cancelled since Friday.
They said the flights had received approvals from the respective state governments and the Indian missions from the UAE. However, the final layer of approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was getting denied.