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India-UAE travel: Go First warns passengers of fake charter flights

James Jose /Dubai Filed on July 2, 2021
File photo

India's low-budget airline says Dubai-based travel agency offered special business charter using its name

India’s low-budget airline Go First has warned passengers looking to travel from India to the UAE to be wary of fake offers of chartered flights after it came to their attention that a Dubai-based travel agency was offering a “special business charter” on July 7, in partnership with the airline.

In a flier advertised on Instagram, the travel agency was offering tickets starting from Dh 1,650 for the said flight from Kochi to Sharjah. The deal included an air ticket, rapid antigen test, airport to hotel transfer as well as a one-night hotel quarantine with a meal. The advertisement also added that passengers who had received two doses of the vaccine (Sinopharm, Pfizer, Sputnik or Covishield) can travel and valid UAE resident visa holders could apply. The advertisement also said that it was subject to GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority) guidelines and approvals.

But Go First, founded as GoAir, became aware on Wednesday evening that the travel agency was using its name as well as of another Indian carrier, for the said charter flight.

Go First has already sent a legal notice to the travel agency through its general sales agent in the UAE and is awaiting a response. The airline has also issued a statement to its customers and travel partners.

“We have already sent a legal notice to them from our GSA. They haven’t responded yet. We also published a statement to the trade saying that we are not contracted. As far as we are concerned, we have not committed to any such thing or any kind of plan. To defend our legalities, we published a statement to the trade,” the regional head of the airline told Khaleej Times.

“We don’t know what the intent is because it is like trying to con people. And we don’t want to be a part of it,” he added.

Earlier, in a statement to its customers and travel partners, the airline said: “This is to notify that Go First (GoAir India Ltd) has not committed/contracted any charter operations from India to the UAE in the current scenario when clearance from the authorities concerned is still not available.

“Any information circulated by a third party through any means of communication taking Go First or GoAir name should be considered as FAKE, and Go First will not be responsible for any information or related transactions,” the statement added.

The regional head reiterated that the airline continues to abide by the norms laid out by the GCAA and the UAE authorities.

“We do operate flights from the UAE to India. But from India to the UAE, we hardly transported one or two who were from the approved categories. We had one passenger from the Golden Visa category and one from the Silver Visa category,” he said.

“Any eligible passenger with a Golden Visa, Silver Visa or diplomats who want to travel, we have to file the details with the GCAA and obtain an approval from them. Once it is received, we have to file for a landing permission for the aircraft. And instead of a ferry flight, it will operate as a charter flight, showing the passenger confirmation proof and GCAA approval proof,” he added.

James Jose

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