Air India will resume its direct London services from Kochi on 18th August 2021. The United Kingdom has moved India from its Red to Amber list, a categorization created for facilitating international travel during Covid time. The Heathrow - Kochi - Heathrow flight will arrive Kochi at 03:45 am and departs at 05:50 am. CIAL has also decided to waive the parking and landing fee as part of its effort to attract more European carriers.
Air India will deploy Dreamliner category aircraft to operate this sector. The AI 150/149 aircraft will be operational on all Wednesdays.
CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS says, “European connectivity is a long time demand of the expats. We have waived parking and landing fees for the airline operating direct services to London . CIAL believes that this gesture will give an impetus for our effort to attract carriers from other parts of the world. The Hon. Chairman and Board of Directors have prioritised it. We hope that within a year, we will be able to host more foreign airlines. ’’
With the commencement of new flight to London, thousands of stranded expats will be able to travel between India and UK from 18th August. The flight will take 10 hours from Kochi to arrive Heathrow. Entering the UK from places on the amber list requires three Covid-19 tests — the first, at least three days prior to departure; the second, on the day of arrival or before day 2; and the third, on or after day 8. Home quarantine for 10 days is also mandatory.
For the UK nationals who are fully vaccinated, neither quarantine nor the day 8 test are required. People who have been fully vaccinated in the United States or many European countries will not need to quarantine when they arrive in England or take the day 8 test.
UAE services gaining momentum
Passenger departures to UAE from CIAL gained momentum after the UAE authorities decided to accept Indians who comply the guidelines issued by GDRFA/ICA. On the first day itself (5th August) CIAL was able to facilitate departure operations to UAE. Till Friday 450 passengers flew to UAE from CIAL. The airport scheduled six departure operations to UAE for Saturday. Six hundred passengers are expected to be on board. Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air India Express carry out one departure operation each and Air Arabia is having two flights on Saturday