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India’s national carrier Air India on Saturday opened booking for flights between India and the United Kingdom hours after the civil aviation ministry said flights from India to the UK will start operating from January 6. Air India also confirmed that the new flights are in addition to the regular flights and tickets could be booked online through its website.

 

“These flights are in addition to the regular flights. Booking open through Air India Website, Booking Offices, Call Centre and Authorised Travel Agents,” the carrier tweeted.

On January 6, 2021, two flights will fly to London Heathrow — one each from Mumbai and Delhi. The next day, two Air India flights are scheduled from London Heathrow to Delhi and Mumbai. On January 8, one Air India flight will fly from Mumbai to London Heathrow and another return flight has also been announced.

The announcement from Air India came a day after India’s civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “It has been decided that flights between India & UK will resume from 8 Jan 2021. Operations till 23 Jan will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to & from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Hyderabad only.”

The minister also offered further clarification about the decision on Saturday saying that flights from India to the UK would commence operations on January 6, while those from the UK to India would begin from January 8. In a tweet, he said, “Resumption of flights between India & UK: India to UK from 6 Jan 2021. UK to India from 8 Jan 2021. 30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian & UK carriers. This schedule is valid till 23 Jan 2021. Further frequency will be determined after review.”

Puri also assured that all necessary precautions would be taken following the standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the health ministry regarding air travel between India and the UK.

Earlier on December 21, 2020, India joined a number of countries in suspending air travel for international flights after a mutated Covid-19 strain was known to be spreading rapidly in the UK.