The Centre has decided to extend the suspension on flights to and from the UK till January 7 in the wake of the spread of the new fast-moving strain of the coronavirus mutant. Till Wednesday the Union Health Ministry logged 20 cases in India of the variant.
Initial decision on suspension was till December 31. However, in the wake of samples increasing for the variant strain, a new decision was taken.
“Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet on Wednesday.
“Thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly,” he added.
The move comes a day after Puri said that a slight extension of the temporary suspension of UK flights beyond December 31 can be expected.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the minister said that over 60 flights per week were being operated between UK and India prior to the suspension.
“I foresee a slight extension of the temporary suspension because we are getting a fuller picture of what has happened. I don’t expect the extension to be a long or indefinite extension,” Puri had said.
The suspension commenced with effect from 11.59 p.m. on December 22.
Prior to the suspension, Vistara, Air India, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways were operating flights between the two countries.