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Indian airlines have operated charter and repatriation flights to Saudi in the past few months.
Indian airlines have operated charter and repatriation flights to Saudi in the past few months.

Saudi halts all India flights on virus woes

The kingdom’s civil aviation regulator Gaca, however, did not say for how long the ban would continue

Saudi Arabia has barred flights from India, Brazil, and Argentina where the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to spread. The kingdom’s civil aviation regulator General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca), however, did not say for how long the ban would continue in a note to airlines on Wednesday.

Gaca said any person who has visited India, Brazil and Argentina in the last 14 days prior to arrival in Saudi will not be allowed in except for those with government invitation.

A copy of the note has been reviewed by Mint.

A senior official of an Indian airline said the Gaca directive was received on Tuesday.

“Indian airlines will not be allowed to operate flights to Saudi nor will any flights from the Gulf nation be allowed to fly to India from 24 September," said the airline official, requesting anonymity.

“We hope the government intervenes and talks with the Saudi government to revoke the order," the official said.

Most Indian airlines, including Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo, have operated charter flights and repatriation flights to Saudi in the past few months.

Spokespersons for Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet did not respond to queries.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has suspended flights of Air India till 2 October in the wake of rising coronavirus infections in India.

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