A general view of the Sharjah International Airport.
The inaugural Srinagar-Sharjah flight was flagged off on Saturday by Union Home Minister Amit Shah from Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport.
The flight, operated by Go First, took off for Sharjah at 6:30pm from Srinagar and landed at Sharjah International Airport at 9:30pm UAE time. The flight revives direct air link between the Kashmir Valley and the UAE after 11 years.
All passengers travelling to the UAE were required to carry a negative COVID-19 test report obtained less than four hours before the departure of the flight.
Passengers were also required to report six hours prior to departure and the COVID-19 test reports will be handed over to them in 30 to 60 minutes from the time of sample collection by the special lab set up by Go First at Srinagar airport. The flight was virtually flagged off by Shah from the Raj Bhavan.
Go First, formerly known as GoAir, is the first airline to start direct international passenger and cargo operations from Srinagar. It will operate four flights a week between Srinagar and Sharjah. The airlines is offering a special ticket price of Rs5,000 on the flight to Sharjah.
“Having been in operation here for over 15 years, we at Go First share a special relationship with the region and are committed to its growth. “We are delighted to be the first airline to connect Jammu and Kashmir with the UAE and it bears testimony to our commitment to the region.
“We believe that this connectivity will be pivotal in bilateral exchange of trade and tourism between the two regions”, Go First statement said.
The direct flights from Sharjah will offer seamless connections to Srinagar and beyond to Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu, Leh and Mumbai and vice versa. “Go First is the only airline appointed for the cargo movement of the horticultural, perishable and agricultural produce of Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Products, a state owned company,” the airlines said in a statement.
Customers can now book their direct flights between Sharjah and Doha by visiting Air Arabia’s website, by calling the call centre or through travel agencies.
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi was formed following an agreement by Etihad Airways and Air Arabia to establish the capital’s first low-cost carrier that follows the business model of Air Arabia and complements the services of Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi thereby catering to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region.
The first commercial flight from Qatar to Egypt in three and a half years, an EgyptAir service to Cairo, took off from windswept Doha airport. Mustafa Ahmed, 38, an Egyptian technical engineer, said he was "very happy."
Sharjah Airport Duty Free launched a Shop and Win campaign, which includes a raffle for 4 Audi and BMW cars, as part of a strategy to encourage passengers to take advantage of the various options and competitive prices at Duty Free.
A Thai Airways International jet headed to Bangkok accidentally hit an Eva Airways plane headed to Taipei at Haneda airport and the runway was subsequently closed and some flights were delayed, the reports said.
For China, which is behind the CPEC projects in the region, this trilateral cooperation would go a long way to ensure that security threats are addressed for these projects to be completed, The News reported.
If the parties fail to observe the ceasefire, "facilitators will be compelled to consider adjourning the Jeddah talks", the US and Saudi joint statement added, referring to negotiations to try to end almost two months of clashes in Sudan.
Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, participated in the Global Coalition Against Daesh Ministerial Meeting held in Riyadh and led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.