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UAE-bound expats who paid Dh390,000 for flight devastated

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on July 9, 2020 | Last updated on July 9, 2020 at 11.54 am
UAE-bound expats, paid, Dh480,000, flight, devastated

(Supplied photo)

From July 8 until July 10, all approvals for operation of private jets have been barred by India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Stranded Indian expats, who were supposed to arrive in the UAE in the next few days, were devastated after learning that the private jets that were flying them back have been ordered to suspend operations.

From July 8 until July 10, all approvals for operation of private jets have been barred by India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), operators have said.

A group of 52 passengers who were due to depart from Hyderabad city on Wednesday said they received all necessary approvals from the UAE. However, to their dismay, the final approval from DGCA did not come through.

The expats who were supposed to board a private jet flight collectively paid Dh390,000 to make the journey happen. Now, they said they have "very little hope that the ban would lifted anytime soon".

Deval Kartik, a Dubai resident and professor of marketing, had just undergone a complex surgery, but she braved the trip from Ahmedabad to Mumbai to catch the jet - which didn't take off.

Kartik flew with her husband on a Vande Bharat Mission flight to India to get a malignant bone tumour removed from her left shoulder. After her operation, she hoped commercial operations would begin on July 1, but it didn't happen as the Indian government announced that flights will remain suspended.

"My husband got a special permission from his organisation to travel with me as my surgery was a priority. He now needs to get back to work. Out of desperation, we decided to take a charter jet to Dubai from Mumbai. We arrived here last night, and now we are stuck," said Deval.

Srinivasa Rao, one of the stranded Indian expats who spent a lot of money for a one-way ticket, said: "My family and I came here for a 10-day vacation. After waiting for so many months, we arranged a private jet costing Dh7,500 per ticket. My two young daughters have been alone in Dubai for four months now. We are facing huge difficulties by staying away from our work and home for so long."

Another expat, Gopal Siddula, thought he would finally be reunited with his wife and daughter, who have been stuck in India for months. They had to cough up Dh15,000 to get for two seats on the jet - but now it felt like it was 'all for nothing'.

"No one prefers to pay such exorbitant rates, but people are desperate. If the government announces a final date, people will decide once and for all. The uncertainty is what is painful," he said. 


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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