Amidst lockdown directions following the coronavirus pandemic, Air India has opened bookings for eligible passengers to travel to Singapore, parts of the US and London. Those who wish to travel to these countries, who are declared eligible, can travel between May 8 and May 14, said Air India.
According to the Indian national carrier's statement, the eligibility criteria include that the passenger should be the national of the destination countries (US, London or Singapore). The Indian and foreign nationals planning to book tickets should have valid VISA of at least one-year duration of the country they are travelling to. In addition, those who hold Green Card or OCI card also can book tickets.
There will be no discount: Air India
Air India clarified that there will be no discount on travel and the entire cost should be borne by the passenger. It asked the passengers to check the eligibility criteria to fly and conditions in the respective destination countries too.
The statement from Air India said, "We would like to inform all those who wish to travel from India to London, Singapore and select destinations in the USA on Air India flights operating between May 8 and May 14 to click here for booking. Passengers are requested to read the eligibility criteria carefully as available on the link and proceed further for booking only if they meet the same."
Flight for stranded Indian nationals
Air India's 64 flights are already operational to bring back Indians stranded in different countries. Air India in its Twitter handle uploaded an update regarding evacuation flights from India.
Air India had planned to start operating flights under Vande Bharat mission on May 6, but it has been postponed and flights will be operational today, May 7. The special flights will ply from Kochi to Abu Dhabi, Delhi to Singapore and Calicut to Dubai. The operation of the flight was postponed as there was a delay in COVID-19 test on the crew on time.
Standard Operating Procedures
Following the pandemic, proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been released by Air India. Accordingly, the pilots and the crew have been tested for COVID-19. The results of the test will be out today and the flights will be operated only after confirming it is safe. The first flight under special mission will fly from Delhi to Singapore. Apart from these special flights the government has clarified that commercial passenger flights- both domestic and international will remain suspended till further notice.
Six rules to be followed:
1) Migrant workers or labourers who have lost jobs, those facing expiry of visas, people with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly, those travelling due to death of family member, and students will be given preference
2) Those who want to book tickets must register with Indian Missions in the country where they are stranded
3) Passengers must sign an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for 14 days on arrival in India, at their own cost
4) At the time of boarding the flight they have to undergo thermal screening. Only those asymptomatic travellers would be allowed to board the flight/ ship
5) All passengers must download ArogyaSetu app on their mobile phones
6) The final list of passengers will be displayed two days before travel on their online digital platform
Currently, India has 52,952 confirmed cases and recorded 1,783 deaths. Singapore has 20,198 confirmed cases and reported 20 deaths. Whereas USA has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world 1,263,224 and reported 74,809 deaths so far, whereas the UK has fourth highest coronavirus cases, 201,101, and reported 30,075 deaths as on May 7.