British Airways will resume India – London Heathrow flights on August 17, 2020 (as relief flights)

British Airways had to stop flights to India after the closure of Indian borders at the start of the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Since then, British Airways operated a few relief flights from various stations in India, such as this one. BA has been operating frequent cargo flights ever since.

a group of airplanes parked in a row

Now, British Airways will recommence direct relief flights from India to London Heathrow under a bilateral arrangement with the Indian government from August 17, 2020.  At present, the following people are eligible to fly:

  • They are a citizen of the country they are flying to (Read here)
  • 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 visa (Update here)

British Airways will be able to take all customers eligible under the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs nonstop to London and beyond on British Airways’ current flight network.  

The airline will operate five flights a week from Delhi and Mumbai to London Heathrow. Hyderabad and Bangalore will have four flights a week to London. Here is the schedule for flight operations from India. The LHR-India operations will start on August 16, 2020, and the India-London operations will begin on August 17, 2020, onwards.

a table with numbers and symbols 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.” 

In response to Covid-19, British Airways has introduced a range of measures to keep its customers safe. Before travel, they will receive information on changes at their airport and onboard experience and tips on how to prepare for their journey. Customers will also be asked to help manage the wellness of everyone travelling by:  

  • Checking-in online, downloading their boarding pass and where possible self-scanning their boarding passes at the departure gate.  
  • Observing social distancing and using hand sanitisers that are placed throughout airports.  
  • Using new contactless, automated features at our lounges, including a new online food and drink service.  
  • Wearing a facemask at all times and bringing enough to replace them every four hours for longer flights.  
  • Ensuring they have everything they need from their hand luggage before departure, and where possible, storing their carry-on bag under the seat in front of them.  
  • Not travelling if they think they have any symptoms of Covid-19.  

Onboard, all cabin crew will wear PPE, and new food service has been introduced, which reduces the number of interactions required with customers. Surfaces including seats, screens, seat buckles and tray tables will be cleaned after every flight, and each aircraft is wholly cleaned from nose to tail every day.  

Remember, if you decide to travel to the UK at this point in time, you might be subject to 14 days of isolation. Also, currently, the air travel closure of India is only till August 31, 2020, so any flights you may book on BA after that date could be regularly available flights, which may or may not operate depending on the extension of the ban.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Confusion regarding flts from Chennai to London on BA. Website shows flts. Now that the ban is extended does it mean this flt does not operate even though it shows on the BA website as a scheduled flt. As bfore only closest to Chennai is Bengaluru . The BA flt from Chennai to Glasgow via London is ₹39,485. From Bengaluru it is ₹1,31000. As a student. ,it s a big amount.

  2. They are available in British Airways site from Sep 4th.. But since not part of relief flights, they might get cancelled later.. Only option to Chennai now is Air India with a layover in Delhi..

      • Flights from London to Hyderabad and Chennai is a problem right now as Air India doesn’t operate these as a single flight thereby requiring passengers to go through isolation (14 days – 7 day gov provided accomodation and 7 day home if in Delhi or all 14 days at gov provided facility). If/when BA confirms these flights, it’ll be a relief to these passengers!

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