ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan Outbound Travel Operators have expressed series concerns over the resumption of Dubai-bound Emirates flights from India while the travel ban on Pakistan still remains intact.
Last Saturday, Dubai announced to ease inbound travel restrictions from India, South Africa, and Nigeria, allowing the resumption of Emirates Airline flights from these Countries to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 23, 2021.
The travel ban on India, South Africa and Nigeria was lifted following the latest protocols and measures announced by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.
“We will resume carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India in accordance with these protocols from 23 June,” the Emirates Airline said.
Under the new entry protocols announced by the Supreme Court, the passengers from India should have received two doses of UAE-approved COVID-19 vaccine, a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure, a rapid test 4 hours prior to flight departure, and another PCR test of arrival at Dubai Airport while being in institutional quarantine.
However, the UAE has extended the travel ban for all direct passenger and business flights from Pakistan until July.
It’s worth noting that Pakistan is among the best performing Countries worldwide in their response to the pandemic and which is now witnessing a decline in COVID-19 positivity ratio following a surge in third wave of the virus.
Expressing concern over the extension of travel restrictions on Pakistan by the UAE, Pakistan Outbound Travel Operators said that it’s shocking that the Emirates has lifted its flight ban on India, South Africa and Nigeria but not in Pakistan.
They said that the COVID data is clearly in favour of Pakistan and now we have record low Coronavirus cases.
“We may be behind on vaccination but with the PCR test requirement there is no reason why Pakistani travelers aren’t a lot safer as compared to those coming from India – especially on Delta Variant concerns,” Travel Operators said.
They were of the view that it is no secret that India is applying immense pressure that has not been seen from the Pakistani side. They said that when Jammu and Kashmir was annexed to India, the UAE was giving Narendera Modi their highest civil award.
The Travel Operators lamented that this is a failure of our foreign policy if India has been allowed and Pakistan hasn’t. They urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take the issue up as soon as possible.