Dubai: UAE residents stranded in India can return on UAE carriers also from August 1, Consul General of India in Dubai Dr Aman Puri told Gulf News on Friday.
Air India Express (AIE), which provides repatriation services under India’s Vande Bharat Mission (VBM), on Thursday became the first entity to announce the resumption of India-UAE flights after a special flight agreement between the two countries ended on Sunday.
Dr Puri on Friday clarified that all UAE carriers providing charter services for repatriating Indians from the UAE can also bring back UAE residents stranded in India till August 15.
He said the Indian Consulate in Dubai had been issuing No Objection Certificate (NoC) for UAE carriers to repatriate the stranded expats from the UAE.
“We have issued many NoCs for UAE carriers for repatriation services,” said Dr Puri.
He said NoCs for a total of 57 flights by one airline alone have been issued for repatriation flights till August 15.
“We are issuing approvals for other UAE carriers also as and when we are getting requests. Others are getting their approvals in due course.”
The Consul General said passengers can book tickets online through the websites of the UAE carriers chartering repatriation flights or through travel agents. He clarified that there is no need for community organisations or companies to charter these flights any more.
“Airlines are directly operating these flights,” he explained.
He said the authorities from both the countries have been working together and matters related to air traffic are getting streamlined.
“We are looking forward to further liberalisation of air traffic between the two countries. We hope that the Air Bubble agreement between the UAE and India will be operationalised soon so that more people can travel.
When contacted, Air Arabia said in a statement to Gulf News that “all information regarding flight bookings can be found on the [airline’s] website or by calling the cell centre.”
Etihad said: “This is a regulatory decision where further updates have not yet been released.”
The airline also directed us to its website where the travel alerts section includes the latest updates within the airline’s network.
Gulf News could not immediately receive comments from other UAE carriers over the Eid holidays.
Are visit visa holders allowed?
Meanwhile confusion prevailed among Indians holding visit visas on whether they could board flights to the UAE.
Several people tweeted to Air India Express urging the airline to allow them to fly to the UAE on visit visas.
However, the airline said on Twitter it was yet to receive any instruction on flying tourist or visit visa holders to the UAE from India.
It reiterated that only those UAE residents whose visas have been stamped on their passports can be flown back for re-entry into the country until further instruction regarding other visa categories.
In an FAQ tweeted on Friday, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the UAE government has permitted entry into the UAE for those who have a stamped resident permit in their passport.