The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
UAE airline Emirates has extended the flights suspension from India to Dubai till May 14, travel agents have confirmed.
Emirates made the decision after India has been reporting record coronavirus cases.
India's total COVID-19 cases passed 18 million on Thursday after another world record number of daily infections, as gravediggers worked around the clock to bury victims and hundreds more were cremated in makeshift pyres in parks and parking lots.
India reported 379,257 new infections and 3,645 new deaths on Thursday, health ministry data showed, the highest number of fatalities in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
The airline said, “Emirates has suspended passengers flights from India effective 24 April 2021 until 14 May 2021. Furthermore, passengers who have transited through India in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE.
“Your options for cancelled bookings are :
1. Keep your ticket for future flight
2. Rebook your flight to another date
“You don’t need to call us if you choose the “Keep your ticket for future flights”. You can get all the information on 'Keep your ticket' option."
Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused.
Gulf Today staffers tried to book tickets during the concerned days, the airlines pages showed no available flights.
Earlier, the UAE airlines updated their COVID‑19 testing requirements.
The passengers were told to take a COVID‑19 PCR test not more than 48 hours before departure.
However, now no flights are available for a period on the concerned days on health grounds, but it is possible the flights suspension may be extended further.
The authorities are analysing the situation and will update according to the circumstances.
More than 40 countries have committed to sending India vital medical aid, particularly oxygen amid a severe shortage, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
The supplies include almost 550 oxygen-generating plants, more than 4,000 oxygen concentrators, 10,000 oxygen cylinders as well as 17 cryogenic tankers.
Hundreds of thousands of doses of Covid-19 treatment drugs as well as raw materials to produce vaccines were also being sent.
The WHO has said the virus variant feared to be contributing to the catastrophe on the sub-continent has now been found in more than a dozen countries.
But the body has stopped short of saying it is more transmissible, more deadly or able to dodge vaccines.
Flights to be operated to five Indian cities between July 12 and July 26, 2020. The flights will be operated to Bengaluru, Delhi, Kochi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.
“Charter flights operated by UAE carriers to bring Indian citizens from UAE to India will be allowed to carry ICA approved UAE residents (returning to UAE from India) on their return leg (India to UAE).
The statement comes as a big relief to Indians who were stranded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the above subject... regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 31st May, 2021," the circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
This came during his meeting, on Tuesday, with Dr Susan Mumm, the new Chancellor of the American University Sharjah, in the presence of a number of members of the university's board of trustees and the vice-president in his office at the university.
Sheikh Mohammed tweeted, “All the best to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leadership. The Saudi National Day every year is a dear occasion to all of us; an occasion to express our fraternal relations and love and move to a better and more prosperous future for two peoples combined by a limitless ambition.”
The health ministry also announced that 62,694 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were provided during the past 24 hours, bringing the total doses that have been provided to date to 19,549,263.