India forbade UAE airlines Etihad, Air Arabia and Emirates to operate chartered services to Indian airports. The move follows the pressure imposed on Air India and other private airlines by the UAE government to prevent them from transporting passengers to Dubai.
The decision was notified to airlines vocally on late Friday leading to disruption of services and flight cancellations. The scheduled international flights are banned starting from March 22 and the ban is in effect till July 31, reported the East Coast.
Many associations had conducted chartered flight services using UAE companies like Emirates, FlyDubai, Air Arabia and Etihad to Indian cities. With this, the rush on Vande Bharat Mission evacuation flights had reduced considerably.
The new issue has arisen after Indian Civil Aviation Ministry denied permission for UAE flights to land at Indian airports. Though the concerned authorities of both countries took up discussions in this regard, it wasn’t resolved. Following this the Sharjah – Lucknow service on Saturday was put on hold.
When on June 23rd, the US announced a ban on Air India flights that repatriated (Vande Bharat Mission) Indian citizens from the US, they said that India was allegedly violating a bilateral agreement by denying one of the US’ airlines permission to conduct repatriation charters from India, creating a competitive disadvantage.
Repatriation flights have become a bone of contention between India and foreign governments. The aviation dispute with the UAE is the latest example. Efforts are on for resolving issues related to repatriation flights in a diplomatic way.
According to The Week reports, a government source said there was an issue of parity and Indian carriers were facing challenges in operating to the UAE. The source also added that efforts were underway to resolve the issue diplomatically.
The Etihad flight EY 254 (Departure time 14:20 Sat) bound to Kozhikode Intl terminal was cancelled as Directorate of Civil aviation denied permission to land. The flight was chartered by Abudhabi KMCC.