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Indian Embassy Urges Rescheduling Non-Essential Travel to Dubai; Emirates Halts Transit Check-In Today

Photo : AP

Emirates has suspended check-in operations at Dubai Airport due to adverse weather conditions, causing significant delays for passengers. This disruption has prompted the Indian embassy in the UAE to advise inbound Indian travelers, transiting through Dubai International Airport (DXB), to reconsider non-essential travel until normal operations resume. The advisory comes amidst the temporary restriction of inbound flights to DXB, a consequence of unprecedented weather conditions in the UAE earlier this week.

Emirates, a major carrier connecting India with global destinations via DXB, announced the suspension of check-in services for all customers with onward connections through Dubai until 11:59 pm GMT on April 19th (3:59 am Dubai time, April 20th). Passengers with connections in Dubai will only be accepted at their point of origin if their flights depart after this specified time, aiming to support operational recovery from the recent adverse weather at the Dubai hub.

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Meanwhile, Air India has cancelled its Dubai flights and is offering affected passengers a one-time waiver on rescheduling and full refunds for cancellations for tickets valid until April 21, 2024. The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi has activated emergency helpline numbers for affected passengers to provide assistance.

Despite efforts by UAE authorities to restore normal operations, the situation remains challenging. Passengers are advised to confirm their flight details directly with the respective airlines before traveling to the airport, given the unpredictability caused by the weather-related disruptions.

Emirates has assured passengers already in Dubai and in transit that they will be accommodated on their flights. However, delays are expected for departures and arrivals. Impacted customers are advised to contact their booking agents or Emirates offices for rebooking options. The airline has extended apologies to affected passengers and is working diligently to restore scheduled operations promptly.

Additionally, Air India has announced the suspension of its Tel Aviv flights until April 30, 2024, citing the evolving situation in the Middle East. Passengers with confirmed bookings during this period are offered a one-time waiver on rescheduling and cancellation charges.

The disruption in Dubai, exacerbated by heavy rainfall, is particularly significant for Indian travelers, as Emirates is the largest foreign airline operating to and from India. Data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) reveals that Emirates carried approximately 8.1% of India's international passengers in October-December 2023, totaling around 13.8 lakh passengers. This disruption affects not only point-to-point travelers but also transit traffic between India and the rest of the world via Dubai International Airport, which serves as a crucial aviation hub for Indian travelers.

April 19, 2024 4:18 p.m. 9107

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