United Airlines on Friday announced temporary suspension of services to New Delhi, citing restrictions related to COVID-19.
“As we seek clarity regarding COVID-19 travel requirements to India, we have temporarily suspended service to Delhi for April 22 and cancelled the corresponding return flights. We are working to provide alternate options to our customers and plan to resume our scheduled service as soon as possible,” a United Airlines spokesperson was quoted by media reports as saying.
Moneycontrol said that United Airline did not specify the reason. The website reported that in a communication to its customers about its flight UA802 for April 23, from Delhi to New York, the airline said, “Your United Flight on April 23 from Delhi has been cancelled because ongoing COVID-19 travel requirement discussions with local authorities are impacting our ability to operate your flight. We are working to address the issue and hope to have it resolved quickly…”
Data from Flightradar24 shows all United flights into Delhi, from Chicago, San Francisco and New York, as cancelled.
The development comes amid wider disruption of international air services to India, with many government either suspending services, or advising their citizens against traveling.
India recorded over 3.3 lakh COVID-19 cases on April 22, with over 2,000 people losing their lives. Delhi has been particularly hit badly, with multiple hospitals running out of oxygen.
United States Advisory
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on April 20 had issued a travel advisory for all its citizens to avoid travels to India amid the rising COVID-19 infections in the country.
“Travelers should avoid all travel to India,” the advisory said. “Because of the current situation in India even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India.”
The advisory further said that, in case of necessary travel to India, get vaccinated before travel. “All travellers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands,” it added.
The development comes after Britain imposed travel curbs on India hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had cancelled his trip to India. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that effective from 0300 GMT on April 16, India has been added to Britain’s “red list” of countries, banning all arrivals from India except for the UK or Irish nationals.