The UAE has announced an indefinite ban in the operation of flights from India. Ever since the ban came into effective, thousands of expats stuck in India are considering other options to head back. The demand for private jet bookings have peaked over the last few days, according to agent and operators. Expats stranded in India are willing to spend anything between AED 13,000 – AED 16,000, per ticket to get back to the UAE.
However, in a recent announcement the General Aviation Authority has warned business jet operators from selling individual seats on UAE bound charters from Covid hotspots like India. Such flights will now be banned entry into the UAE, it added.
UAE Bars Seat Pooling On Charter Jets
According to a new circular, operator who provide seat pooling or per seat offers will be banned from operating in the UAE. Passengers arriving in the UAE will be screened thoroughly and those violating the rules will face penalized and banned. The recent circular read:
“When business aircraft are used to transport passengers from restricted destinations, they shall not be pooled or sold per seat. Operators hired for pooling or ‘per seat offer’ may be banned from operation in the UAE. GCAA is collecting all information required from local authorities to verify flight and passenger information.”
In April, UAE announced a small window, which permitted residents, diplomats and business travellers to fly into the country via charters.
Who Can Fly To UAE On Charter Flights?
As per Khaleej Times, business professionals, UAE residents with golden visa, and individuals who own private jets can fly back into the country. However, all travelers flying into the UAE must have a valid negative PCR test report. Besides, business aircrafts will now be permitted to carry only eight passengers.
How Many People Are Allowed In One Charter?
Earlier, the charter jets were permitted to carry 19 passengers. However, the General Civil Aviation Authority has now tightened rules, permitting only eight passengers per charter. Depending on the size of the aircraft. charters can accommodate between six to 35 passengers. However, small-body private jets cannot carry more than eight passengers, the circular stated.
What Is The Cost?
A one-way ticket from Kochi to Dubai, carrying 10 passengers approximately costs Rs 4,00,00.
What Are The Test Requirements?
All passengers arriving in UAE must undergo an RT PCR test as well as quarantine themselves for 10 days. Travellers must also take another PCR test on the fourth and eighth day, after arrival.
How Can Expats Stranded In India Travel Back To The UAE?
Expats who have been stranded in India are not allowed to enter into the UAE. However, entry is permitted to travellers who quarantine themselves in another third country. Therefore, expats are now travelling to other countries that permit travellers from India, before they fly back into the UAE. As per reports from Khaleej Times, expats are travelling to Armenia and Uzbekistan, to quarantine there before the finally return to their home in the UAE. This seems like a more feasible option for most expats, as agencies have launched packages to Armenian capital Yerevan starting at AED 6000, which is much lesser than a charter flight. The cost includes flight, hotel stay, food, and PCR test.