India-UAE flights: Emirates plane flies to Dubai with just 2 families on board
The families arrived from Kochi at Dubai International Airport at 6am on Sunday.
Amidst the travel ban due to rising Covid-19 cases in India, two families from the southern Indian state of Kerala arrived in Dubai from Kochi on an Emirates flight on Sunday.
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According to Kerala-based Madhyamam, only two families arrived on the 360-passenger plane. The flight took off at 4am Indian time on Sunday and arrived in Dubai at 6am UAE time.
Although, UAE has placed a ban on passengers arriving from India, Indians with a Golden Visa are exempted from the suspension. Younus Hassan, chairman and managing director of Al Irshad Computers, a computer sales company, has a Golden Visa that allowed his family to travel.
Yunus’ wife Hafsa and his children Nihla Yunus, Nujum Yunus, Mohammad Hilal and Mohammad Hani Hamdan received the Golden Visa under his sponsorship and were on board. They spent Rs180,000 (Dh9,000) on tickets.
Nihla said the Emirates staff gave them a warm welcome. They travelled in economy class but were allowed to sit in any seat, including business class.
"We each had an air hostess to handle our affairs. They accompanied us up to the terminal and helped us take the Covid test as well. Normally, you should stand in the queue at the emigration counter. However, after asking us to sit down, the air hostess took our passports and completed the emigration process,” Nihla told Madhyamam.
Hafsa said they found it difficult to reach Nedumbassery Airport from her native Nadapuram because of the triple lockdown situation in Kerala. Although the journey usually takes only seven hours, it took the family 12 hours due to the many police checkpoints along the way.
Hafsa said they were grateful to the UAE government for issuing them a Golden Visa.
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