Air India cancels flights between India and UK amid rising COVID-19 cases; details on rescheduling, refunds to follow

Due to fresh restrictions imposed by the UK, Air India on Wednesday announced the cancellation of flights between India and the UK from April 24 to April 30.

In a statement, Air India said, "Passengers who were to travel between India and UK may note that in view of recent restrictions announced by the UK, flights from or to the UK stand cancelled from April 24 to April 30." Further updates regarding rescheduling, refunds and waivers will be informed later, it added.

Air India further informed that between April 24th to 30th, it will start a process to schedule once a week flight to the UK from Delhi and Mumbai.

"Between 24th to 30th April 2021 we are in the process to schedule once a week flight to UK from Delhi & Mumbai. Information regarding the same will also be updated on our website and social media channels," the national carrier said.

The announcement comes after Britain placed India on its COVID-19 travel ‘red list’. Britain on Monday added India to its COVID-19 travel "red list", which effectively bans all travel from the country and makes a 10-day hotel quarantine compulsory for UK residents arriving back to the country.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the move in the House of Commons as he revealed that 103 cases of the so-called Indian variant had been identified in the UK, of which the "vast majority have links to international travel".

He said that samples of that variant have been analysed to see if the new variant has any "concerning characteristics", such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.

"After studying the data, and on a precautionary basis, we've made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list," the minister told MPs.

"This means anyone who is not a UK or Irish citizen... cannot enter the UK if they have been in India in the previous 10 days," he said. The new rules, which Hancock said has not been taken "lightly", will come into force from Friday.

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