British Airways to operate flights from India under bilateral arrangement
British Airways has announced that it will recommence direct flights between India and London Heathrow, under a bilateral arrangement with the Indian government. These flight services will restart from August 17, 2020.
The flag carrier of the United Kingdom will operate five flights a week from Delhi and Mumbai to London Heathrow and four flights a week from Hyderabad and Bengaluru to London.
British Airways will ensure the safety of passengers through a range of measures. Prior to travel, they will receive information on changes at their airport, onboard experience and tips on how to prepare for the journey. Passengers are expected to do online check-in, download their boarding pass and where possible self-scan it at the departure gate, observe social distancing and use contact less, automated features at the airline’s lounges such as the new online food and drink service among others.
Moran Birger, head of sales, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, British Airways said, “Following months of uncertainty caused by the global lock-down, we are delighted to be able to once again provide a direct flight between India and the UK. “We know many of our customers in India have been waiting to be reunited with friends and family. We look forward to welcoming them back onboard.”
Jan Thompson, UK’s acting high commissioner to India said, “I am delighted to see British Airways running direct flights between our countries again. This will be welcome news to the many students, professionals and British travellers who need to return to the UK. “We are grateful to the Government of India for allowing UK carriers to re-establish the route, and look forward to seeing more flights soon.”
British Airways said that it will be able to take all customers, eligible under the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), nonstop to London and beyond on its current flight network.
As per MHA guidelines, individuals will be allowed to travel if:
- They are a citizen of the country they are flying to.
- They have a green card, permanent residency status OCI card or any other special status in that country.
- They are stranded in close neighbouring countries and permitted to exit through India.
- They are an Indian national destined to the UK who is holding any type of visa of any country (other than a tourist visa) with a minimum of one month’s validity.