The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) suspends Air India Express flights for 15 days as a result of flying two passengers who were tested positive for COVID 19 from India to Dubai on two separate occasions.
The authority informs the Airlines that the suspension officially began from 12 am on Friday,i.e, 18 September, and will continue till 11:59 pm on October 2.
Suspension notice issued to the Air India Express
The suspension notice was sent to the regional manager of Air India and Air India Express in the Gulf and Mena region.
The notice states, that Boarding a passenger with COVID 19 positive result, is in violation of the laid down procedures and/or protocols relating to air travel to and from airports in the Emirate of Dubai, during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Air India Express, the two passengers arrived in Dubai from two different flights from Delhi and Jaipur on August 28 and September 4 respectively. The airlines have also introduced separate additional flights from Sharjah International Airport to accommodate the affected passengers.
Air India Express confirms that it received a suspension notice from DCAA. It said that The notice has been issued on the account of incorrect acceptance of two COVID 19 patients by the airline’s ground handling agents, one at Delhi and another at Jaipur.
The notice further informed that According to the information gathered, passengers who were seated in the close area of the COVID 19 positive passengers have undergone tests and have been quarantined as determined by the Dubai Health Authority.
Action will be taken against faulty employees
In a statement, the Airlines has said that it has repeated the instructions related to COVID 19 prevention and to ground handling agencies in India to strictly follow the regulations and SOPs in relation to the acceptance of passengers on the airline’s flights. Also, the concerned authorities have taken necessary action against the employees responsible for the lapse in Delhi and Jaipur.
Meanwhile, DCAA has instructed the Air India Express to pay for the expenditure that occurred for the medical tests and quarantine on any of the passengers that were in the flights with the COVID 19 positive passengers.
Air India Express has been operating special repatriation flights as a Vande Bharat Mission since May, from when India has shut down its International flights business during the Coronavirus pandemic. India has signed an air bubble agreement with UAE that is valid till October 31.