The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
After months of anxiety over suspension of flights, passengers bound for the UAE can now heave a sigh of relief as regular flights have recommenced from six restricted countries.
On Thursday, a couple of flights from India landed at Dubai International Airport with delight writ large on the faces of scores of passengers who were stranded for months in different cities.
The first regular flight from Lahore to Dubai is due late on Thursday night while many passengers and their relatives took to social media to highlight the unavailability of rapid test facilities for the passengers at major airports in Pakistan.
According to some reports, only Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport has the coronavirus rapid test facility for outbound passengers while other major international ports including Peshawar, Multan, Islamabad and Faisalabad still waiting for the authorities to put the necessary arrangements in place.
This is to facilitate the thousands of passengers stranded for months all over the country and waiting to return to their jobs, business or other obligations pending in the UAE.
All passengers have been asked to get approval prior to their return to the UAE from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) through its online platform. In many cases the stranded residents took advantage of social media platforms to air their grievances over their rush to booking offices after the announcement of resumption of air travel to the UAE.
The Emirates will operate its flights to Mauritius on Thursdays and Saturdays. The airline flight will depart from Dubai at 2:35hrs and arrive in Mauritius at 9:10hrs local time. The return flight will operate on Fridays and Sundays.
Emirates may resume flights between India-Dubai from July 7, the airline has confirmed to some residents stranded in India due to the flight suspension, citing spike in COVID cases in the Asian country.
It was not immediately clear which routes and air carriers would be affected. The NCOC added the decision would be reviewed on May 18. Inbound air traffic will operate at 20% of the total current quantum, while there is no change in the existing Category C list countries.
According to details shared by the CAA, Qatar Airways was previously allowed to operate 56 flights in a week, which is now minimised to 11, followed by eight flights allowed to Gulf Air as compared to 35 flights previously in a week.
Eleven residential buildings and 39 houses were damaged in the explosions which occurred in the early hours.
The UAE has sent three planes carrying a 1,000 sqm field hospital, which includes 75 beds and two operating rooms equipped with the latest medical supplies and devices, to offer relief to earthquake victims in Afghanistan.
Residents in the UAE felt strong tremors and left their residences. A family told Gulf Today that as soon as they realise that their chandellier was moving without any reason. they knew it was earthquake.
On the other hand, the Gaia space probe unveiled its latest discoveries in its quest to map the Milky Way in unprecedented details, surveying nearly two million stars and revealing mysterious "starquakes" which sweep across the fiery giants like vast tsunamis.