International Flights Latest News Today: At a time when several countries are lifting ban in air travel due to less COVID cases, Papua New Guinea has banned international flight services from India for uncertain period. Issuing a statement, the country India’s diplomats of deception over apparent breaches to Covid travel rules.
Papua New Guinea’s top COVID official told news agency AFP India’s High Commission deliberately helped dozens of unauthorised travellers — some COVID-positive — to arrive in Papua New Guinea.
This happened when a repatriation charter flight from India arrived in Papua New Guinea via Indonesia early on Tuesday with 111 people on board, 30 more than the original number approved.
As per latest updates, the flight to Papua New Guinea had been the subject of intense negotiations between officials in both countries and was rejected four times by Papua New Guinea over virus fears. However, finally, an agreement was signed to allow 81 passengers to enter.
Speaking to AFP, Police Commissioner in Papua New Guinea David Manning said “India’s High Commission in Port Moresby deliberately participated in the deception” to bring more than that number in.
Apart from India, the airline operators CapaJet and Garuda Indonesia were also banned from entering Papua New Guinea airspace until further notice.
The travellers were Papua New Guinean, Indian, and Indonesian nationals, with four testing positive for Covid-19.
In the wake of the COVID outbreak, Papua New Guinea has introduced strict travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the Delta variant — which originated in India.
Recently, Papua New Guinea recorded around 18,000 Covid-19 cases and the hospitals across the country have been overwhelmed and makeshift facilities had to be created with foreign help.
It also must be mentioned that India has also banned the international flights till August 31. However, the DGCA said that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis.
So far, India has established air bubble agreements with around 24 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.
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