EU airline sells tickets for repatriation flight, India cancels it – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: India has cancelled a repatriation flight that was supposed to be operated by a leading European airline to fly back foreigners home from here. This airline, chartered by its home country to operate a flight from Delhi to its western Europe hub, was found to be selling tickets for the same on its website and a leading Indian travel portal.
Repatriation flights are not regular schedule passenger commercial flights.
The EU country which had charted this flight again requested India to operate another flight to fly out its citizens. This permission was granted for a repatriation flight without any commercial sale of tickets.
“Repatriation flights are chartered by countries to fly their citizens out from foreign lands. Just like India sent dozens of special Air India flights to Wuhan, Milan, Rome and other European cities to fly back its citizens. People stranded abroad contact their embassy, which in turn gets airlines to operate special flights to fly them back. Airlines cannot sell tickets for these flights like regular flights. Once we got to know the European airline had done that for a flight, we cancelled the same,” said a senior official.
India has kept its airports open during the lockdown, among other operational reasons, to allow repatriation flights by foreign countries.
Several countries like Germany, US, UK and Canada have been operating such flights for their citizens. “This was an apparent case of an airline treating a repatriation flight like a regular commercial one, which we or any other country could not have allowed,” said the official.

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