Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Monday resumed its direct connection with the UK with the British Airways operating its flight to London.
Re-starting this connection between Hyderabad and London, the first flight of British Airways (BA 276), a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner wide-bodied aircraft, took off Monday from Hyderabad Airport for Heathrow at around 7.50 a.m.
This gives a big boost to the air travel, which is now showing signs of recovery amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, said Hyderabad Airport operator GMR.
All passengers were serviced through the fully-sanitised Interim International Departures Terminal (IIDT) which has been kept ready for flight operations. Mandatory screening and safety measures were in place during the flight's handling to protect against the Covid-19 threat, including thermal screening prior to terminal entry, and mandatory social distancing enforced through special queuing arrangements at all passenger processing points.
British Airways would be operating four times a week
British Airways would be operating four times a week - every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Any passenger can book a ticket from Hyderabad to London as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. All passengers will have to adhere to the Covid-19 safety guidelines.
"We are happy to restart one of our important destinations under the international air transport bubbles arrangement. UK has always been a key destination for us. We are thankful to the government of the United Kingdom and the government of India for making this possible. The resumption of this connection between Hyderabad and London would help restore vital economic and social links between Telangana and UK, enabling much needed movement of people and goods," said a GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) spokesperson.
"Transport Bubbles" or "Air Travel Arrangements"
A British Airways spokesperson said: "Following months of uncertainty caused by the global lockdown, we are delighted to be able to once again provide a direct flight between Hyderabad and the UK. We know many of our customers in India have been waiting to be reunited with friends and family. We look forward to welcoming them back onboard."
With an aim to revive the pandemic-struck economy, during Unlock 3.0, the Indian government is building "Transport Bubbles" or "Air Travel Arrangements", which are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the pandemic.