Cochin airport begins flight operations to UAE

Kochi: With the issuance of a new travel protocol by the UAE government, accepting passengers from India, who adhered to the prescribed regulations, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) started departure flight operations early on Thursday.

UAE Airlines, Air Arabia and Emirates operated one service each to UAE today, a CIAL release said.

Air Arabia flight G9-426 departed to Sharjah at 3.50 am with 69 passengers while Emirates operated EK 531 to Dubai with 99 passengers.

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The flight departed at 10.30 am, it said.

CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS attributed the smooth and swift commencement of international departures to the operational efficiency of CIAL and other stakeholders like airlines, customs, immigration and ground handling agencies.

“CIAL has been doing intense follow up with the UAE aviation communities and we were able to start the Rapid PCR- testing centre at the departure terminal in a week after the announcement of Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Managements, which made it mandatory for the passengers from India.

“Following that Dubai authority issued a guideline on 3rd August accepting eligible passengers from India from 5th August and we facilitated a departure flight operation in the wee hours of the opening day itself,” Suhas said.

As per the schedule, Air Arabia will be operating two regular daily flights in Sharjah Sector from August 7 while Emirates operates a daily flight in Dubai Sector.

CIAL has initiated a discussion with both UAE and Indian carriers to schedule departure operations and it is expected that airlines like Fly Dubai, Etihad, Air India Express, Indigo and Spice Jet will begin UAE departure services soon, the release said.

According to the new travel guidelines issued by UAE, Indians who own resident visas and are fully vaccinated in UAE and completed 14 days after the second dose will be permitted to enter UAE on acceptance of their registration with either GDRFA Dubai or ICA UAE.

The passengers should produce a negative PCR test certificate with 48 hours validity and also undergo a Rapid PCR test at the departure airport.

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