Air India flights to and from Hong Kong banned for rest of August

DY365
DY365
Published: August 19,2020 09:34 AM
DY365

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August 19, 2020: Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission flights to and from Hong Kong have been banned by Hong Kong authorities due to COVID-19 related issues for two weeks, August 18-31.

August 19, 2020: Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission flights to and from Hong Kong have been banned by Hong Kong authorities due to COVID-19 related issues for two weeks, August 18-31.



Air India operates flights to Hong Kong under the Vande Bharat Mission and was scheduled to operate special flights from Delhi on August 18, August 21, August 25 and August 28.



An Air India official confirmed that the Hong Kong authorities had banned flights for two weeks but did not detail the reasons for the restrictions. The official said the airline would initiate talks with the Hong Kong authorities for lifting the suspension.



Earlier on Monday, Air India had tweeted, “FlyAI: ImportantUpdate -- Due to restrictions imposed by Hong Kong Authorities, AI 310/315, Delhi -- Hong Kong -- Delhi of August 18, 2020 stands postponed. Next update in this regard will be intimated soon. Passengers may please contact Air India Customer Care for assistance.”





According to a report by South China Morning Post, the ban came after 11 passengers tested positive for Covid upon landing in Hong Kong from Delhi on August 14. “The fact 11 passengers tested positive on the same flight shows the lab tests back in India are not very reliable…The airline has to do deep cleaning (on its planes) and make sure it won’t happen again on future flights before they can be resumed,” the report said, quoting an unnamed Hong Kong government source.



It said the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation was invoked to suspend Air India’s flights for two weeks.





The Vande Bharat Mission started in early May to evacuate Indians stranded abroad due to travel restrictions in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.



In a weekly briefing held last Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said a total of 10.5 lakh stranded Indians have returned through various modes under the Vande Bharat Mission.