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Aviation Blog

Super wealthy Indians hired six private jets to fly them to London to beat 'red list' deadline – Daily Mail

Challenger 604

By Darren Boyle for MailOnline and Afp
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At least six private jets flew from India to London with super wealthy families paying more than £100,000 to beat today’s 4am Covid-19 red list deadline. 
A fleet of jets flew from Ahmedabad, Dehli and Mumbai into London Luton airport – with one aircraft touching down just 40 minutes before the deadline was imposed. 
Desperate passengers chartered the aircraft from Qatar, Germany, Malta and one belonged to a private owner. 
This Indian-owned Bombardier Global 6000, which can carry 14 passengers, arrived in Luton after a flight from Mumbai. It was followed by a Maltese-registered Global 6000 – which landed less than an hour before the deadline
The jets flew from Ahmedabad, Dehli and Mumbai before landing in Luton Airport, which is one of the UK’s busiest locations for private jets
This jet flew over Iran and Turkey before arriving in Luton less than an hour before the deadline. Others routed over Iraq 
Passengers arriving from India after the 4am cut off were ordered to go into quarantine 
The passengers were escorted to coaches where they will be transported to hotels to spend the next 10 days in quarantine at a cost of £1,750
India was added to the UK’s travel red list at 4am on Friday, meaning arrivals from the country must now enter quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days.
A British Airways and a Virgin Atlantic jet touched down in Heathrow around 7am – just three hours after the deadline.  
Anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen will be banned from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.
On Thursday, India reported more than 314,000 new infections – the worst daily sum of the pandemic anywhere in the world.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was forced to cancel a trip to India on Monday as the country struggles to cope with a dramatic surge in cases. 
Four airlines asked for a total of eight extra flights to arrive at Heathrow before the 4am cut-off; however, it is understood that Heathrow declined the airlines’ requests to ensure existing pressures at the border were not exacerbated.
After being added to the UK red list the cost of airfares soared and demand for private jets boomed Friday as Indians who could afford it scrambled to escape the United Arab Emirates shut down.
All flights from the UAE to India – one of the world’s busiest air corridors – will be suspended from Sunday as coronavirus cases in the South Asian nation reach record levels and overwhelm hospitals.
Price comparison websites showed one-way commercial flights from Mumbai to Dubai on Friday and Saturday costing as much as 80,000 rupees (£770), around 10 times the usual rate.
Tickets for the New Delhi to Dubai route were going for more than 50,000 rupees, five times the normal level.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pictured, was forced to cancel a trip to India due to Covid-19 
No tickets were on offer from Sunday when the 10-day flight suspension comes into force.
For private jets, the amount of interest was ‘absolutely crazy’, a spokesman for charter company Air Charter Service India told AFP.
‘We have 12 flights going to Dubai tomorrow and each flight is completely full,’ the spokesman said.
‘I’ve fielded almost 80 enquiries for flying to Dubai today alone,’ said a spokesman for Enthral Aviation, another provider.
‘We have requested more aircraft from abroad to meet the demand… It costs $38,000 to hire a 13-seater jet from Mumbai to Dubai, and $31,000 to hire a six-seater aircraft,’ he told AFP.
‘People are making groups and arranging to share our jets just to get a seat… We’ve had some queries for Thailand but mostly the demand is for Dubai.’
Funeral pyres are being lit in the open as crematoriums have been overwhelmed by the number of deaths caused by Covid-19
The Indian health system is struggling with the number of people catching Covid-19 
About 300 commercial flights a week usually operate between the UAE and India, according to local media.
The UAE is home to roughly 3.3 million Indians who make up a third of the population – most of them in Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the federation.
The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority said those coming from India through other countries must stay in that third destination for at least 14 days.
UAE nationals and passengers in private jets are exempt from that requirement. Cargo flights are not affected.
On Friday a ban on arrivals to Britain from India also came into force, except for British and Irish citizens or third-country nationals with residency rights. 
Seats on routes to the United States were still available but with prices substantially higher, in some cases almost double the normal fare.
Hospitals have reported running out of oxygen due to the demands placed upon supply 
1: Ahmedabad – Luton using Bombardier Global 5000 Bombardier Global Express XRS with up to 13 passengers. 
2:  Delhi – Luton – using a Dassault Falcon 7X  with up to 20 passengers.
3: Mumbai – Luton – using Bombardier Global 6000 carrying up to 13 passengers.  
4: Mumbai – Luton – using a Bombardier Global 6000, carrying up to 13 passengers. 
5: Mumbai – Luton – using a Bombardier Global Express XRS  with a 13-passenger capacity. 
6: Dehli-Luton – using a Bombardier Global 6000 with a 13 passenger capacity. 
 
The restrictions come in response to mounting concern about the number of Covid-19 cases in India and the emergence there of a variant of the virus.
The variant – also known as B.1.617 – was first noted internationally in October and first identified in the UK on February 22.
It has 13 mutations, including two in the virus’s spike protein, known as E494Q and L452R.
Public Health England (PHE) said on Thursday that 55 cases of the Indian variant were found in the UK in the week to April 14.
PHE experts are currently unsure whether any of the mutations mean the variant can be transmitted more easily, is more deadly or can evade the effectiveness of vaccines or natural immunity. 
On Thursday, India reported more than 314,000 new infections – the worst daily sum of the pandemic anywhere in the world.
Understaffed hospitals are struggling with the number of patients and there are concerns about the supply of oxygen.
Thursday’s cases raised India’s total to above 15.9 million since the pandemic began – the second-highest total in the world after the United States.
The country’s overall coronavirus death toll stands at more than 186,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s count.
People who arrived back in the UK from India before the red list change told the BBC they were ‘so relieved’ and felt ‘very lucky’.
There are 40 countries on the UK red list, including India, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UK Government website says that if you have been in or through any of the red list countries in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.
It adds that if you are a British or Irish national, or you have residence rights in the UK, you will be able to enter but must quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days.
Anyone arriving in Northern Ireland having been in, or transited through, one of the red list countries must complete the UK passenger locator form, provide evidence of a pre-departure negative Covid-19 test, and from April 16 enter hotel quarantine for 10 days.
The Welsh Government website says that from February 15 there is no direct arrival into Wales for travellers who have been in a country on the red list.
Those flying directly to Scotland from abroad need to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days (11 nights) as soon as they arrive.
The Scottish Government website says ‘abroad’ means flying to Scotland from outside the UK (including Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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