Hong Kong has barred Air India flights from Mumbai till November 10 after five passengers on the Indian carrier’s flight on October 25 tested positive for coronavirus infection.
This is the fourth ban on Air India flights by Hong Kong after passengers have tested positive post arrival at the city.
Delhi-Hong Kong flights were banned three times since August.
Responding to a query from IANS, Air India said that the passengers concerned were accepted on the flight as they had submitted Covid negative test reports from laboratories recognised by ICMR before boarding.
It noted that as per Hong Kong regulations if an airline has five or more Covid positive passengers on a flight, the airline is barred from bringing any passengers from the same origin to Hong Kong for 14 days.
“Hence our flight from Mumbai to Hong Kong is banned for the period 28th October to 10th Nov ’20. Incidentally we do not have any flight scheduled to Hongkong too in the coming days,” it said.
Passengers travelling to Hong Kong need to have a Covid negative test report conducted 72 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure as per requirement by the Hong Kong authorities.
The passengers are also required to ensure online submission of their health and quarantine declaration as well before landing at Hong Kong. These notifications are communicated on Air India’s official website as well.
“Air India as a responsible airline is strictly conforming to these rules and protocol. Only passengers with Covid negative reports are being allowed to board from any destination in India,” it said.
“Another mandatory Covid 19 test is carried out for passengers after landing in Hong Kong and reports of the same may be at variance from the reports of tests conducted 72 hours before taking the flight. Hence, Air India cannot be held responsible for any lacunae on the issue of passenger test reports,” the airline’s statement added.