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UK flights resume after two week suspension


Two weeks after India suspended all flight operations to the UK following the detection of a new strain of coronavirus, the first flight to the UK left Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) on Wednesday with 252 passengers, authorities said.

Another flight left for London in the evening from Mumbai. The two flights carried a total of 491 passengers. They are expected to return to their respective bases on Friday, an official said. Following reports of the new variant being highly transmissible, India suspended all flights to and from the UK from December 23 to 31 as a precaution. Subsequently, the ban was extended.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday that the number of flights to the UK from India has been cut by 50%.

The two Air India flights that left India on Wednesday will land at London Heathrow Airport on Thursday.

Deputy Police Commissioner (IGIA) Rajeev Ranjan said they have also made arrangements to ensure that all passengers arriving from the UK are screened and that no one skips the test.

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