Air India to Resume Flights from Mid-September

Air India has announced it will resume their services to Birmingham Airport from mid-September, after months of flight restrictions.

Following months of travel uncertainty, Air India brings welcome news for the West Midlands – as services will resume from 18 September, operating a once-a-week service, where flights will be direct to ATQ and onwards to DEL.

Earlier this year, Air India announced both inbound and outbound flights would be suspended from March to control the spread of Covid-19. When the global pandemic was at its peak, India’s state-run carrier restricted their operation from 18 – 31 March and any subsequent travel had been ground to a halt over the summer months.

The news came after Directorate General of Civil Aviation restricted entry for passengers from Turkey, Europe and the UK. India also prohibited entry of nationals from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia.

Air India General Manager for Birmingham, Gurjeet Singh Gujral, told Brit Asia TV that passengers are advised to take a Covid-19 test to avoid quarantine and to download the Air Suvidha <https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/allairports> app, where users will be prompted to complete a self reporting form. If tested negative, this will allow for the safe and easy arrival process for international travellers.

However, if prospective passengers are carrying a positive NHS Covid-19 test (valid seven days before travel), there will be a strict requirement to self-quarantine for seven days.

Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT- PCR test report on arrival. This test should be conducted within 96 hrs prior to the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration.

Each passenger should also submit a declaration of authenticity of the report and if found otherwise, will be liable for criminal prosecution. The test report can also be accepted upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India.

A snapshot of upcoming flights, courtesy of Air India, can be found by clicking here.

A summary of what to expect is outlined below:

  1. Passengers will apply for exemption on www.newdelhiairport.in and receive a unique application number. Passengers are urged to apply minimum 72 hours before departure.
  2. The applications will be processed by the state where the airport is located, excluding Mumbai arrivals, which will be processed by Maharashtra irrespective of final destination in India.
  3. Once cleared, passengers will receive an approved or rejected application file to their provided emails.
  4. On arrival, passengers with approved exemption will show their approval to state officials and get their hand stamped for home quarantine and move out of the terminal.
  5. Airports will provide kiosks / facilities to upload self-declaration forms at the arriving airports, to facilitate the passengers in case they have not completed the submission online.
  6. Expect regular announcements at airports for Do’s & Don’ts and any recommended protocol for the benefit of the passengers.

Please note, travellers who have not filled in their self-declaration form on the portal will be expected to fill the same in duplicate in the flight and a copy will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport.

While aboard the flight, required precautions such as wearing masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. are to be observed by airline passengers together with cabin crew.

On arrival:

  • De-boarding should be done ensuring social distancing.
  • Thermal screening will be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the Health officials present at the airport. This is where passengers will be expected to present their self-declaration form, completed online, to the airport health staff.
  • Any passengers found to be symptomatic during screening will be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. These passengers will be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 7 days. They will be tested as per ICMR protocol – where more information can be found at: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Revisedtestingguidelines.pdf
  • If tested positive, they will be assessed clinically. If found asymptomatic/ pre-symptomatic / very mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public & private facilities).
  • Those with mild/ moderate/ severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated Covid health facilities and managed accordingly.  If found negative, they shall be advised to further isolate themselves at home and self-monitor their health for 7 days.

For further information and updates on flights and tickets, please visit Air India <https://bookme.airindia.in/AirIndiaB2C/Booking/Search/>  to check fare availability.

For any quarantine queries, please email all questions to: quarantine.support@gmrgroup.i

Please ensure you have downloaded the Air Suvidha <https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/allairports>  app as recommended, to ensure safety for others and efficiency on arrival.

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