Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 8
As an Air India flight from the UK with 256 passengers on board landed here on Friday morning, the passenger civil aviation operations between the two countries have partially resumed.
It resumed after a suspension for 16 days amid concerns about a mutant fast-spreading strain of the Covid that emerged in Britain.
The government had suspended flights to and from the UK on December 23 in wake of new and more infectious strain of coronavirus. Flight operations from India to the UK restarted from January 6, while services from the UK to India resumed on January 8.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced that only 30 flights per week – 15 each by Indian and UK carriers – will be allowed to operate between the two countries till January 23.
Flights from India to the UK restarted on Wednesday even as the number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant has climbed to 82.
The Delhi airport has advised passengers to keep a gap of at least 10 hours between their arrival from the UK and the connecting flight to their cities.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Thursday urged the Centre to extend the flights ban till January 31 because of the “extremely serious” Covid situation in the UK. “The Centre has decided to lift the ban and start UK flights. In view of the extremely serious situation in the UK, I would urge the central government to extend the ban till January 31,” Kejriwal had tweeted.
In Delhi, 13 people have tested positive for the new variant of Covid.