NEW DELHI: The national capital will have 12 flights weekly to and from the UK when connectivity partially resumes between the two countries, followed by Mumbai at 11, Bengaluru at 4 and Hyderabad at 3.
Air India, Vistara, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have been allowed to operate 30 weekly flights between the UK and these 4 metros till January 23 after which the frequency will be reviewed by the government.
According to airline sources, Air India will operate 13 flights weekly between India and the UK with six to and from Delhi; five Mumbai and two Hyderabad. Vistara will operate one flight a week to and from Delhi and Mumbai each. This takes care of the 15 weekly flights by Indian carriers allowed between the two countries till January 23.
With the 15 allowed to British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, the two will be operating five flights weekly to and Delhi and Mumbai each; three Hyderabad and two Bengaluru. The British carriers have been asked to distribute flights among themselves as per this interim schedule.
The four airlines have been asked to work out their partial resumption schedule in a way that anyone carrier does not operate more than one flight a day to and from the four metros. There is a very strict new Covid screening protocol for all passengers flying to India from there. They will require a Covid negative report to be allowed to board flights to India and be required to undergo testing on arrival here too.
“Resumption of flights between India & UK: India to UK from January 6, 2021. UK to India from January 8. 30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian and UK carriers. This schedule (30 weekly flights) is valid till January 23, 2021. The further frequency will be determined after review,” aviation minister HS Puri had tweeted on Saturday.
About the enhanced screening protocols, the minister had said: “All health precautions will be taken. (Rules) have been issued by Union health ministry. Passengers will be tested both before boarding and upon arrival in India.… These are valid till January 30, 2021.”