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.
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.
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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