AFTER HAVING to turn back from Russian airspace on Friday, KLM’s Amsterdam-Delhi flight carrying over a 100 Indian citizens transiting through the Dutch capital from the US and Canada, the airline was granted clearance by the Indian civil aviation authorities late Saturday to land in Delhi.
The flight had taken off on Friday from Amsterdam without prior approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to carry passengers from the European country, and according to sources in the government, the flight was not permitted entry into Indian airspace once DGCA officials learnt of it.
“We have issued orders prohibiting any airline from boarding passengers — Indian or foreign — at any of the European Union countries. We are allowing special flights to be operated in a phased manner so that our infrastructure is not overloaded. As soon as we were informed by Ministry of External Affairs that a KLM flight was carrying passengers from Amsterdam, we had a NOTAM (notice to airmen) issued, asking the flight to turn back,” a senior DGCA official said.
The flight was carrying 102 Indian citizens, including a pregnant woman and senior citizens, who were travelling from the US and Canada.
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