Indians without Schengen visa can't fly to UK on European Union airlines

Bharat Bandh: Airports, airlines' ops not impacted.
A flight takes off from a runway. Photo: IANS

Indian citizens, without transit or regular Schengen visas, are being stopped from boarding European Union airlines like Lufthansa, KLM and Air France at the origin airports in India itself. The European Union has made it mandatory for non-EU citizens to get a transit Schengen visa to fly to the UK on transit flights operated by its airlines as the UK is no longer part of the union, post Brexit. 

Schengen visa is a short-term visa that allows its holder to travel freely throughout the Schengen area, covering 26 EU countries or 'Schengen States' without border controls between them. The move took place on January 1, last year.

Non-EU citizens can fly to the UK without transit or a regular Schengen visa only on non-stop flights or on one-stop flights through Gulf countries or Switzerland. The EU rule does not apply to Switzerland as it is not a member of the Union.

However, there are several services that fly directly to the United Kingdom. After India resumed scheduled international flights, foreign airlines have started offering one-stop connections between India and the rest of the world.

Following the Russia-Ukraine conflict, this one-stop business has also increased significantly. Last year, Air India had announced non-stop flights between India and the UK.

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