Dubai: When flight restrictions are relaxed later this month, two of India’s largest airports, Mumbai and Hyderabad, will be well prepared to handle an influx of UAE-bound passengers.
The PCR testing facilities at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport can provide results in as little as 13 minutes. “At our end, we’ve been updating the facilities for the passengers’ convenience,” a spokeswoman stated.
Officials and industry sources blamed an early delay in the commencement of flights from India to the UAE on a lack of competent PCR-testing facilities in Indian airports. The Gulf government planned to bring in UAE residents stuck in India on June 23, and one of the prerequisites for travel was a four-hour fast PCR test.
The MIA official added, “We also have a lab located within the airport to help passengers acquire the report as soon as possible.” “We currently have the facilities at both the departures and arrivals gates, and we have enough counters to accommodate demand.”
Delta+ generated fears:
The resumption of flights will be a huge relief for Mumbai International Airport, which has Dubai as one of its busiest sectors. Given the frightening spread of the ‘Delta plus’ strain of the COVID-19 virus, it is “hard to predict” when flights will resume, according to the spokeswoman.
As a result, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have pushed back the re-launch dates of their India flights to July 15 and July 21, respectively. The spokeswoman stated that Dubai “has been a major market during the pandemic – it remains the top foreign destination for customers traveling by CSMIA and has always been the case.”
No stranded passengers:
Flight arrangements have been unexpectedly modified and tickets have been revoked without much notice due to the continually changing laws. However, there were no large numbers of people stranded at the airport in Mumbai.
“We haven’t had that since the airlines are responsible,” the MIA spokeswoman said. “Perhaps they have taken adequate steps and alerted customers in advance so we didn’t have any problems at the airport to this effect.”
Hyderabad waits for action:
According to an airport official, Hyderabad Airport is “completely ready” to manage the new UAE entrance requirements. For COVID-19 testing, the airport has partnered with Mapmygenome, a NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) approved lab. The lab is open to travelers and airport employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“As far as the airlines flying to the UAE are concerned, they are still waiting for clarity from the UAE’s health authorities before resuming travel between India and the UAE,” the spokesperson added. “The opening will be contingent on the UAE government’s approval.”