Two weeks after India suspended all flight operations to the UK after the detection of a new coronavirus strain, the first flight for the UK left Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on Wednesday with 252 passengers, officials said.
Another flight left for London in the evening from Mumbai. The two flights carried a total of 491 passengers. They are expected to return to their respective bases on Friday, an official said. Following reports of the new variant that is highly transmissible, India suspended all flights to and from the UK from December 23 to December 31 as a precautionary measure. The ban was later extended.
Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday that the number of flights to the UK from India have been reduced by 50%.
The two Air India flights that left India on Wednesday will land at Heathrow airport in London on Thursday.
Deputy commissioner of police (IGIA) Rajeev Ranjan said they have also made arrangements to make sure all the passengers arriving from the UK are tested and no one skips the test.