As the United Kingdom has moved India from its Red to Amber list, a categorization created for facilitating international travel during Covid time, Air India and CIAL joined hands to operate direct London services from Kochi. Air India will operate Heathrow –Kochi-Heathrow service on Wednesdays from 18th August 2021. CIAL decided to waive the parking and landing fee as part of its effort to attract more European Carriers.
CIAL is the only airport in the state which offers direct connectivity to London. Air India will deploy Dreamliner category aircraft to operate this sector. The AI 150/149 aircraft arrives Kochi at 0345 and departs for London at 0550 on Wednesdays. CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS said that CIAL worked hand in glove with Air India for making this a reality . “European connectivity is a long time demand of the expats. We have waived parking and landing fees for the airline operating direct services to London . CIAL believes that this gesture will give an impetus for our effort to attract carriers from other parts of the world. The Hon. Chairman and Board of Directors have prioritised it. We hope that within a year, we will be able to host more foreign airlines ’’: said Suhas.
With the commencement of new flight to London, thousands of stranded expats will be able to travel between India and UK from 18th August. The flight will take 10 hrs from Kochi to arrive Heathrow. Entering the UK from places on the amber list requires three Covid-19 tests — the first, at least three days prior to departure; the second, on the day of arrival or before Day 2; and the third, on or after Day 8. Home quarantine for 10 days is also mandatory. For UK nationals who are fully vaccinated, neither quarantine nor the Day 8 test are required. People who have been fully vaccinated in the United States or many European countries will not need to quarantine when they arrive in England or take the Day 8 test.