Coming as a relief to Indian expats in the beleagured nation of Qatar, Indian airlines have been allowed to use UAE space to reach the nation’s capital Doha. This has been done due to the active intervention of the Indian embassy.
Indian expats have been facing problems in reaching Doha from India and vice versa following the air embargo by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE in the ongoing Qatar crisis. Flights from important destinations of India had experienced a delay of up to an hour as they had to use the airspace of Pakistan and Iran to reach Doha.
Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said, “Flights from Kerala had to fly 50 minutes extra and 20-25 minutes for those from Mumbai. This meant either a hike in air fares or cut in baggage allowances. It had become a real issue as the airlines were losing money. The schedules too had to be altered. We were among the hardest hit countries as we have 600,000 people in Qatar.”
The Indian Ambassador took up the matter with the local authorities and it resulted in removal of all imposed restrictions. As a result, the impending fare hike with the onset of summer vacation has been avoided.
The ambassador has even got confirmation from Jet Airways on Tuesday that service timings were 'back to normal', revealed a Dubai-based newspaper.
Due to increased flying hours, Air India Express had restricted the baggage limit to 20kg for passengers flying from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Kochi and Mangalore. Jet Airways, Air India Express and IndiGo fly to Doha from Indian destinations.