Air India Is Still Flying To London Despite UK Government Red List

Although remaining on the UK’s red list for travel, Air India is still flying to the UK and…

Air India Is Still Flying To London Despite UK Government Red List

Although remaining on the UK’s red list for travel, Air India is still flying to the UK and has today announced additional flights. The airline has been flying to the UK since May 1st. Now it has planned five additional return flights between London Heathrow and Bengaluru beginning from May 16th. In addition, the airline has also scheduled more flights connecting London to Mumbai.

Although India is still on the UK’s red list, Air India has been flying to Heathrow daily. Photo: Getty Images

On April 23rd, the UK government announced India had joined the red list of countries, effectively preventing travel between the two countries. With increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases as well as new variants of the virus, it is likely India won’t be coming off the red list for a while.

However, this hasn’t stopped one airline from scheduling flights. Air India announced today on its Twitter account that it will operate 10 more indirect flights connecting the two countries. The first flight will leave Heathrow for Bengaluru on the 16th, returning the following day on the 17th. The airline will operate the same flights on the 18th and 19th, 23rd and 24th, 25th and 26th, and finally on the 30th and 31st.

Air India Emirates Getty
Air India announced new flights today via Twitter. Photo: Getty Images

The airline is also planning additional flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai. Flights will begin on May 17th and will operate daily until the 31st, excluding the 18th, 23rd, 25th, and 30th. Bookings for flights to both destinations are open, and anyone who had previously booked these flights (before they were canceled) will need to reconfirm their booking.

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New flights thanks to high demand

But these aren’t the airline’s first flights since going on the red list. After canceling all flights from the end of April onwards in response to the UK government’s reclassification of India, Air India has been planning to get back the skies as soon as possible. Previously it announced a slew of flights starting from May 1st. The airline has operated flights either to or from the UK every day of May so far. Current destinations in India are Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

Clearly, there is enough demand to offer more flights, hence the new announcement for additional flights. The airline is making it clear that the responsibility to meet entry requirements in both countries is down to the passenger. This is stopping people from booking. Although the UK government recommends avoiding India, Air India’s flights are clearly popular enough to demand more.

Heathrow mask arrivals testing
The airline has been clear that passengers are responsible for meeting entry requirements in the UK. Photo: Getty Images

How is this possible?

India being on the red list in the UK doesn’t mean travel between the two countries is banned. Technically, people arriving in the UK from India can enter the country on indirect flights, they just have to abide by strict rules. Only British or Irish citizens or people with a right to reside in the UK can enter the country from India. Even then, all travelers must spend 10 days in a government-approved quarantine facility, usually a hotel, and submit to two mandatory PCR testing.

The requirements to enter India from the UK are considerably less stringent. Every passenger must pay for and submit to a PCR test upon arrival in India. A negative result means seven days of isolation in a government unit followed by another week in isolation at home. A positive result means stricter isolation protocol. While this feasibly makes it possible for anyone to enter India, the country is not issuing tourist vias at the moment.

What do you think of Air India’s flights? Are they providing a vital service for people looking to return home? Or should they cancel flights while on the UK’s red list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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What Can You Do With A Retired Boeing 747?

The Boeing 747 has been inspiring travelers for more than half a century. Sadly, owing to both the…

What Can You Do With A Retired Boeing 747?

The Boeing 747 has been inspiring travelers for more than half a century. Sadly, owing to both the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its rising age, the type is becoming an increasingly rare sight in the skies worldwide. However, despite no longer flying, some examples have gone on to serve other purposes after their retirement.

This 747 has been inventively repurposed as a hotel! Photo: Bahnfrend via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative accommodation

One of the ways in which the 747 was a game-changing aircraft was the fact that its extra space compared to its predecessors allowed for a more luxurious onboard cabin. The aircraft’s striking top deck became known for featuring opulent lounge and bar areas, such as Qantas’s Captain Cook Lounge. Meanwhile, airlines also offered premium passengers an exclusive cabin in the plane’s nose, such as Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class.

While it is increasingly hard to find active 747s on which to enjoy a restful night’s sleep in the air, there is one instance where you can do so on the ground instead. Sweden’s Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) is home to the incredible Jumbo Stay hotel.

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Jumbo Stay 747 Hotel Stockholm
Jumbo Stay guests can even stay in special pods in the plane’s engines! Photo: kitmasterbloke via Flickr

This project has seen a former Singapore Airlines and Pan Am 747-200 repurposed as an avgeek’s dream location for an overnight stay at Sweden’s largest airport. However, rather than merely using the cabin for accommodation as would have been the case during its service life, passengers can even stay in the engines! This is definitely one for the bucket list.

Educating the next generation of voters

Across the North Atlantic Ocean, another group has found a very different but equally useful purpose for a retired jumbo. The Air Force One Experience obtained an ex-Evergreen International Airlines 747-200F to create a replica of the US presidential jet.

Air Force One Experience 3
The Air Force One Experience uses a 747-200F to educate future voters. Photo: Air Force One Experience

School groups can enjoy a three-hour self-guided tour in and around the aircraft, which features re-creations of several significant onboard rooms. The project states that:

“Our mission is to educate the next generation of American citizens about the importance of democracy, civic responsibility, and the right to vote.”

An aquatic avgeek’s paradise

Having to exit an aircraft via an emergency slide is, thankfully, an extremely rare occurrence. However, what about doing so instead by the means of a water slide? Incredibly, this obscure proposition is in fact a reality at the Wings and Waves Waterpark in Oregon!

Evergreen Boeing 747 Water Park
A 747 sits atop the water park, and even houses two slides! Photo: Clemens Vasters via Flickr

On top of this aquatic leisure complex sits another ex-Evergreen 747. In this instance, the aircraft belonged to the family’s -100F variant, having been converted from a passenger-carrying China Airlines 747-100 in 1978.

As well as making the building as a whole look striking, the 747 is special in that it houses two water slides – certainly another one for the bucket list! It is very heartwarming to see the 747 live on through these, and other, inventive ground-based enterprises.

Have you ever visited any of these quirky retired Boeing 747s? How else might you like to see these aircraft used once their service life is over? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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