Coronavirus: India’s Consulate in Dubai warns against repatriation flights scams

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The Consulate General of India in Dubai warned Indian nationals in the UAE of people running scams, collecting money and claiming to operate repatriation flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It has come to our notice that certain people and travel agencies in UAE are contacting Indian nationals in the name of forthcoming chartered flights to various destinations in India and in some cases, alluring them to pay money in advance for airfare and quarantine charges in India,” the Consulate said on Sunday on its Twitter account.

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The Consulate then advised all Indian nationals living in the UAE that Indian’s government “has not yet accorded approval for any such chartered flights as of now.”

It added: “A proposal of chartered flight to India, if any, for any designated purpose, will be approved by the government of India and routed through Consulate General of India, Dubai, during the current crisis of COVID-19 and till resumption of normal international civil aviation services between India and UAE.”

The Consulate warned: “All Indian nationals are advised to take note of the above and advised not to fall prey to any such people/agents on pretext of arranging chartered flights to certain destinations.”

Passenger flights in and out of the UAE were suspended on March 23 as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Recently, however, UAE-based airlines, such as Emirates, Etihad, and Air Arabia have offered repatriation flights out of the country for those looking to return home, and some “special” flights to various international destinations.

At the end of April, Dubai said its aviation sector helped 37,469 people return to their homes on 312 special repatriation flights operated by 53 airlines amid the coronavirus pandemic despite normal passenger flight operations remaining temporarily suspended at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central Airport (DWC).

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