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Indian, UK airlines to share 30 weekly flights to London from January 8

While currently there are over 60 weekly flights between India and UK, the Centre has decided to begin with limited resumption till January 23

Coronavirus | airlines | Lockdown

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

airlines, flights, aviation, plane, runway, airport
India had earlier suspended flights from UK, following the detection of mutant coronavirus

Indian and British carriers will operate 30 weekly flights to and from London starting January 8.

While currently there are over 60 weekly flights between India and the UK, the Central government has decided to begin with limited resumption of flights till January 23.

Currently there are flights to London from 10 Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, and Goa.

"It has been decided that flights between India and the UK will resume from January 8. Operations till January 23 will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad only," civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet. The minister added that the DGCA would "issue details".

Air India, Vistara, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic are operating services between the two countries.

Prior to suspension, British Airways was operating 29 flights per week, followed by Air India that had 23 weekly services. Virgin Atlantic and Vistara flew eight and five flights per week. Delhi and Mumbai airports handle nearly 45 per cent of the India-UK flights.

India had suspended flights from the UK from the midnight of December 22 to December 31. The ban was later extended till January 7 to check the spread of the new variant of Covid-19. The new variant is said to be infectious by 70 per cent.

The suspension of flights was followed by tracking and testing of over 30,000 passengers who returned from the UK between November 23 and December 22.

The Union health ministry has released standard operating procedures for epidemiological surveillance.

Genome sequencing is being done in case of positive samples. So far, 29 cases of new Covid-19 variant have been detected among the UK returnees and such passengers have been kept in isolation facilities. Among these 29 cases, 10 have been detected in New Delhi, five in Pune, three in Hyderabad, 10 in Bengaluru, and one in Kalyani, West Bengal, reports said.

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First Published: Fri, January 01 2021. 20:28 IST