EU airline sells tickets for repatriation flight, India cancels it
NEW DELHI: India canceled a repatriation flight that was supposed to be operated by a leading European airline to bring foreigners back home from here. This airline, leased by its home country to operate a flight from Delhi to its central Western Europe, was found to be selling tickets for it on its website and on a leading Indian travel portal.
they are not regular commercial passenger flight schedules.
The EU country that had charted this flight again requested India to operate another flight to fly its citizens. This permit was granted for a repatriation flight without any commercial ticket sales.
“Repatriation flights are chartered by countries to take their citizens out of foreign lands. Like India, it sent dozens of special Air India flights to Wuhan, Milan, Rome and other European cities to bring its citizens back. People stranded abroad contact their embassy, which in turn causes airlines to operate special flights to take them back. Airlines cannot sell tickets for these flights like regular flights. Once we found out that the European airline had done that for a flight, we canceled the same thing, said a senior official.
India has kept its airports open during the shutdown, among other operational reasons, to allow repatriation flights from foreign countries.
Several countries such as Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have been operating such flights for their citizens. This was an apparent case of an airline treating a repatriation flight as a regular commercial flight, which we or any other country could not have allowed, the official said.