Air India to waive penalties for one-time rescheduling, cancellation, rerouting for UK bookings between Dec 22-31
Air India to waive penalties for one-time rescheduling, cancellation, rerouting for UK bookings between Dec 22-31
Sarangib

In view of Indian government's directive on the suspension of flights to the UK, from December 22 to 31, Air India has stated that it will waive off penalties for one-time rescheduling, cancellation, rerouting for UK bookings for the duration.

In addition to the UK, it will also waive off penalties for one-time rescheduling, cancellation, rerouting of the bookings for Oman and Saudi Arabia both from December 22 to 29.

The government on Monday said all UK-India flights will be suspended from December 23 to December 31 in view of the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus in that country.

It also said all passengers coming from the UK on Monday and Tuesday would be compulsorily tested for coronavirus on arrival at airports.

As of now, six passengers travelling on Air India's London-Delhi flight tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Apart from Delhi, two passengers from the UK were found positive for COVID-19 after they arrived at the Kolkata airport.

Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna are testing their coronavirus vaccines to see if they work against the new mutated version of the virus that's recently been found in the United Kingdom and other countries.

From Canada to India, one nation after another banned flights from Britain, while France barred the entry of trucks from Britain for 48 hours while the strain is assessed.

The precautions raised fears of food shortages in Britain if the restrictions drag on.

Over the weekend, Johnson imposed strict lockdown measures in London and neighbouring areas where Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new strain is "out of control." Experts said the early evidence indicates the strain is not more lethal, and they expressed confidence that the vaccines now being rolled out would still be effective against it.

Meanwhile, the European Union gave the go-ahead to the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, setting the stage for the first COVID-19 shots across the 27-nation bloc to begin just after Christmas.

The approval came just hours after the EU's drug regulatory agency said the vaccine meets safety and quality standards. It is already being dispensed in Britain and the US.

The virus is blamed for 1.7 million deaths worldwide, including about 68,000 in Britain, the second-highest death toll in Europe, behind Italy's 69,000.

(With inputs from agencies)

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