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The Amsterdam-Delhi flight returned due to Covid-19 curbs, to land on Sunday

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NEW DELHI: A KLM flight was asked to return to Amsterdam after taking off for Delhi on Friday with about 100 Indians in transit back home from the United States and Canada. Since India has banned anyone from Europe, the UK and Turkey, including passengers in transit from there, aviation authorities asked the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, operating as KLM 871, to return to Amsterdam.

The flight had flown for about four hours and was over Russia when asked to fly back. A passenger on this flight said on social media when the plane was returning to Amsterdam: “It is shocking and terrifying as I write this in the air.” Our special flight to evacuate nearly 100 passengers has been returned. Indian authorities refuse to accept this flight despite all (on board) US Indians. USA And Canada … People haven’t showered in two days. All restaurants in Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport) are closed. Despite the advancement of the MEA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), this flight is being redirected to the epicenter of the virus. ”

In a statement, KLM said: “Flight KL871 on March 20 from Amsterdam to Delhi had to be redirected to Schiphol due to conflicting information about entry restrictions into the country. The 120 passengers on board are residents of India, who were heading to Delhi via a transfer in Schiphol, are now on the air side in Schiphol. In the current situation with government regulations changing rapidly, KLM makes sure to comply with and respect the regulations of the Indian authorities. KLM will fly these passengers if the Indian authorities only provide a final agreement. KLM is committed to doing everything possible to repatriate as many travelers as possible. KLM will re-operate flight KL 872 for passengers in Delhi who were supposed to return to Amsterdam on the aforementioned flight for a departure on the night of March 22. ”

India has clearly banned anyone from entering places like Europe and the UK for the time being. “When the aviation authorities learned that the flight took off to India in violation of that very clear rule, they were asked to return. India’s plan is to prevent people from the crown hot spots from flying here and spreading the infection here. We are aware of the fact that Indians are stranded abroad. Quarantine facilities are being created. There is a humanitarian problem and we will allow special flights to bring the Indians according to the preparation of all concerned, “said a senior official.

Officials at airports, airlines, health and safety agencies, immigration, customs and other departments have been at the forefront of the crown battle since the possibly infected people began flying back to India from critical countries.

After this particular KLM flight took off to India despite current restrictions, the DGCA issued a circular to all airlines reiterating the restriction to anyone flying here from places like the EU, UK and Turkey. He ordered them to “strictly adhere to the instructions … Strict measures will be taken against the airline found in contravention …”

Times of India

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