Coronavirus Pandemic

India-UAE travel suspension: Airlines offer passengers refund, rebook options

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on April 22, 2021
Passengers to India at Dubai airport. — Reuters file

Etihad, Emirates, flydubai announce multiple options of rebooking, refund to Indian passengers

Leading airlines offered their passengers refunds or rebooking options after the UAE announced the suspension of passenger flights from India into the UAE starting April 24. The revision of Covid-19 regulations is in place for a period of 10 days.

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Flag carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates, and budget carrier flydubai are offering passengers refunds and re-booking options amid the change in regulations.

Etihad Airways said on Twitter: “Effective April 25, all flights from India to the UAE have been suspended for a period of 10 days.” Passengers have been directed to the ‘manage booking’ section of the airline’s website for cancellations and refunds.

Emirates have given two options for cancelled bookings — passengers can keep the ticket for a future flight or rebook the flight to another date. Under the ‘keep your ticket’ option, Emirates passengers can fly within 36 months from the date of the original booking or request a refund. The offer is valid only for passengers who have booked their tickets before April 1 for travel on or before December 31.

In a statement to Khaleej Times, flydubai said: “In line with the directives issued by the authorities, flydubai flights from all destinations in India to Dubai have been suspended with effect from 23:59 on April 24 for a 10-day period.”

It said: “Flights from Dubai to India will continue to operate to schedule during this period. If a passenger’s flight has been cancelled, they will be offered a refund or the option to rebook to a later date.” Travel agents have said the demand for passengers wishing to return to the UAE has quadrupled since the formal announcement by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GCAA). Those in India have until Saturday evening to fly to the UAE and many scheduled flights on the busy sector are completely sold out, said agents.

The UAE’s announcement came as India recorded the world’s highest daily tally of 314,835 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday as a second wave of the pandemic raised new fears about the ability of crumbling health services to cope.

At least eight countries around the world have announced travel bans and restrictions on India to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Health officials across northern and western India including the capital, New Delhi, said they were in crisis, with most hospitals full and running out of oxygen.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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