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Efforts underway to help passengers stranded at Dubai airport – News

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Some of the stranded Indian passengers have been stuck at the airport since March 18.

Efforts are underway to begin the repatriation process of passengers stranded inside the Dubai airport, Khaleej Times has learnt. Dubai Airports issued a statement which states airlines and embassies are now working to repatriate the passengers to their home countries.

An official statement from Dubai Airports said, “Passengers who are stranded at Dubai International because of the cancellation of their onward flights are being assisted by Dubai Airports’ staff by referring them to their airlines and embassies who are working to repatriate them to their home countries.”

Several passengers, including 22 from India, have been stuck inside the airport following India’s decision to impose a ban on passenger flights. Some of the stranded Indian passengers have been stuck at the airport since March 18.

Passengers of other nationalities have also suffered a similar state since many countries have imposed such bans. Furthermore, UAE has closed all its airports since Monday. The Indian mission said it is presently working with the UAE government to make arrangements for the passengers as India has still not given permission to repatriate them.

Consul General of India to Dubai Vipul said, “We don’t have permission for repatriation of stranded Indian passengers. We are looking at what arrangements can be made for the passengers, and what they can be provided with, in coordination with the UAE government.”

Indian passengers continue to wait

Passengers stuck at the airport said they are hanging on hoping the government of India will do something to help them.

Commenting on the living conditions of the Indian passengers, Vipul said, “It is very limited food that is available, but food is available. They are in a challenging situation right now, because their baggage was checked-in and they have no access to their belongings. They have no beds or blankets to sleep on, and have been roughing it out on benches at the airport.”

The Indian passengers arrived from European destinations such as Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona and at least 11 passengers have arrived from Sydney. A total of seven passengers have been roughing it out on the airport transit zone for over six days, while others checked into hotels at the airport concourse.

Deepak Gupta, one of the Indian passengers, appealing for help, said, “We are really missing our families. We just want to go home.”

“We are surviving on meagre food. We don’t have enough clothes to change or anything for decent survival,” said Ankit Parek, an MBA student from Bangalore.

“Nothing has happened so far. We are still stuck here. We are constantly in touch with the Indian Consulate. We have been asking for masks, gloves and sanitizers. We are feeling cold and vulnerable.”

“We are not asking for the Indian government to fly us out immediately. We are okay to endure this. But at least provide us with basic essentials to sleep, to change and have proper food,” said a distressed Ankit.

Another passenger Arunkumar Radhakrishnan who flew from Sydney and lost his connection flight to Cochin because of the cancellation of flights said they are ‘losing hope’.

“We were really hoping that by now we would be out of the airport and back home. But nothing seems to be happening and we don’t know what to do.”

Radhakrishnan said all stranded passengers have undergone medical examinations and we are awaiting results. We are being told that we will be shifted to another hotel.”

We have also signed a declaration form that said 14 days of quarantine is required as we come from abroad.”

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

anjana@khaleejtimes.com





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