India moving towards resumption of scheduled flights, says external affairs minister

Officials have also approached UAE's NCEMA to remove the mandatory PCR test requirement



By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 1:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 9:15 PM

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar confirmed that the government of India is working towards the resumption of scheduled flights.

The Indian minister toured the India pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday, November 13. The tour was followed by a press interaction in the multipurpose hall at the pavilion.

While addressing the media, Dr Jaishankar said: "We are moving towards resumption of scheduled flights. That move is progressing towards normalcy.”

He added that India has been resilient in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. “There are two things that we are focused on - recovery from Covid and reviving the economy. In the next few months, we will know that who has been resilient and who are lacking."

It was the first visit of the minister after the pavilion was fully constructed and he said that it was great to see it in full swing.

"I have seen it coming up over the last year. I was delighted to know that 300,000 footfalls were noted at the Indian Pavilion and I am sure there will be more in future. It captures the diversity and the message and aspiration of India in many ways," he said.

"The visitors will leave the pavilion with a better sense of India. I congratulate the organisers for conveying that message so effectively," he added.

Jaishankar stressed that there are signs that the economy is firing with good growth. "People are confident now, which will leave us in a good place in the future happenings. We are well-poised and the reason is a lot of efforts were made in building capacities to handle Covid and that’s not just hospitals - even vaccination is a part of the capacities."

Commenting on India-UAE relations, he added: “UAE is one of our most important partners and it is reflected in our trade figures.”

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of India to the UAE Pavan Kapoor told Khaleej Times that Indian officials have approached UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) to remove the rapid RT-PCR test requirement for travellers from India at the airport.

“Given the low level of Covid-19 positive cases in India now and the recognition of Indian vaccines (by the World Health Organisation), we have suggested it to them (UAE) to remove the rapid PCR test at the airport requirements. We feel it is not in keeping with the situation,” said Kapoor.

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He added: “We promise to take it up with NCEMA, which have the final call in this matter. We are hopeful there will be a serious reconsideration of our request in this regard.”


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