Dubai's Civil Aviation Authority has suspended all operations of Air India Express into the city for 15 days, between September 18 and October 2. This was after a COVID-19 positive passenger was found onboard a Jaipur-Dubai flight that landed on September 4. Authorities in Dubai said that it was the second such instance.
In a letter to Mohit Sain, the Regional Manager, Gulf, Middle East and Africa for Air India Express, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority wrote, "You are aware of our previous intimation to you made by our letter dated September 2, 2020, for boarding a passenger with a COVID-19 positive test result, who endangered the other passengers on board and also caused a serious health risk."
Stating that this was in violation of the procedures and protocols laid down during the pandemic, the letter said, "Therefore, all operation of Air India Express to Dubai Airports is temporarily suspended, for a duration of 15 days, effective from September 18 to October 2."
Following the order, AI Express is reported to divert four flights scheduled to land in Dubai to Sharjah on Friday.
The letter also stated that in addition to the suspension of operation, the company would be "further notified to pay all the expenditure incurred by the respective authorities for medical services and/or quarantine of any passengers and the other passengers in that flight." To resume operations, Air India Express has been asked to submit a detailed "corrective action/procedure implemented to prevent such incidents from occurring again."
Verified :â€” Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) September 18, 2020
Flown #coronavirus passengers to Dubai despite knowing they are positive endangering other passengers? And twice.
Dubai authorities suspend Air India Express @FlyWithIX flights and slap penalties.#aviation #avgeek #india #travel pic.twitter.com/TheEnqSvwl
It was earlier this month that commercial flights to Dubai were resumed, with strict safety protocols amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indian government had said that it was building 'transport bubbles', which are temporary arrangements between two countries. They aim to restart commercial air passenger services while regular international flights are suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the air transport bubble arrangement, airlines like British Airways have resumed operations connecting Hyderabad to the UK and beyond. Flights to Gulf nations were also resumed.
With IANS inputs