168 passengers take off for UAE from Kochi, more flights expected in coming days

On Thursday, 168 passengers departed from the Cochin International Airport for the Emirates. Photo: CIAL

Kochi: Ending months of uncertainty, the stranded UAE expatriates in Kerala have started leaving in batches to the Emirates.

On Thursday, 168 passengers departed from the Cochin International Airport for the Emirates. Air Arabia flight G9-426 departed to Sharjah at 3.50 am with 69 passengers while the Emirates operated EK531 took off for Dubai with 99 passengers at 10.30 am.

The airport authorities have informed that it has initiated discussions with both UAE and Indian carriers to schedule more departures in the coming days.

CIAL has said that it expects airlines such as Fly Dubai, Etihad, Air India Express, Indigo and Spice Jet to start operations to UAE soon.

“As per schedule, Air Arabia will be operating two regular flights daily (G9 421//422 SHJ-COK-SHJ 1530/1640 and G427/428 SHJ-COK-SHJ 1840/1920) in the Sharjah sector from August 7," CIAL said in a press release.

Besides, Emirates will operate a daily flight (EK 530/531 DXB 0844/1030) in the Dubai sector, CIAL added.

At the airport, the travellers were asked to produce papers such as a permission letter from the UAE Emigration Department, a document proving the administration of two jabs from the UAE itself and certificates showing negative COVID-19 PCR test results with 48 hours validity and undergo a Rapid PCR test at the departure.

Only those expatriates who have stayed in India for less than six months are allowed to fly back to the UAE. According to reliable sources, relaxations on these restrictions are likely in the coming days.

Following Documents Must for Clearance:

1. The passenger must produce a valid document, showing that he/she had taken two doses of vaccine for coronavirus administered by the UAE. Those who have taken vaccines from India will not be allowed to travel to the UAE. Without having such a document issued by the UAE, many such passengers had to return home from the airport with much heartburn.

2. Those who hold a valid Visa from Dubai were supposed to show the printout of the permission letter they had received from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners' Affairs (GDRFI) for the visit. Those who possess the Visa issued by other Emirates were asked to show the printout of the permission letter granted by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

A passenger from Kasargod, Abdul Salam of Madakkara in Cheruvathur, told Onmanorama that the permission letters from the GDRFI and the ICA were the documents needed for the travel and scotched the rumours that an email from the authorities in its place would serve the purpose. The authorities are alo checking the system to find out whether the Visa period of a traveller has crossed six months or not.

3. The negative PCR test results must be produced by the traveller.

4. Covid-19 negative rapid test results must be shown by the traveller at the airport. Abdul Salam, a school employee in Sharjah, said that once negative rapid test results were shown along with other documents, there were no more hurdles to take the flight to Dubai. He took a 10.30 a.m flight from Kochi to Dubai.

The UAE Government had given permission the other day to the Visa holders of six countries to come back to the country, that too with stringent conditions. The Visa holders of Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Uganda, Nepal and Pakistan were granted permission by the UAE for a comeback other than those from India.

Persons now allowed to come back to UAE

1. Those who work in the healthcare sector like nurses, technical experts and doctors.

2. Those who work in the education sector, especially teachers at universities, colleges and schools.

3. Students studying in universities, colleges and schools.

4. Residents who hold a valid Visa issued on the basis of humanitarian grounds.

5. Those who are employed in federal and local government agencies.

Persons allowed earlier

1. UAE residents and their close relatives.

2. Diplomats and Embassy officials from six countries, including India and UAE.

3. Official visitors to India from UAE.

4. International participants and organizers of Expo-2020.

5. Those who were issued a Visa by Expo-2020 organizers.

6. Those who possess UAE Gold or Silver Visa.

7. Flight Crew and Cargo Crew.

8. Transit flights of foreign companies. 
(With inputs from Sadiq Kavil)

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