NEW DELHI: The temporary suspension of India-UK flights may be extended beyond December 31, aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday.
India had last week suspended passenger flights to and from the UK between December 23 to 31, after a growing list of countries like Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Italy did the same due to a more infectious coronavirus variant there.
“We are applying our minds to (on the issue of) temporary suspension of UK flights as today is December 29. A decision will be taken shortly. But I personally foresee a small, slight extension of the temporary suspension beyond December 31,” Puri said.
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India-UK have 67 weekly flights operated by four airlines — Air India, Vistara, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Almost 2,000-2,500 passengers fly in daily on these flights. UK had reported a more infectious strain of coronavirus after which several countries, including India, temporarily suspended flights to and from there.
“We went back to November 25 and did contact tracing and genie sequencing of passengers who had directly or indirectly come from UK since that date. So far, seven people who came from the UK have so far been reported to have been detected with the new Covid strain,” Puri said.