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Emirates airline has extended its suspension on passenger flights from India until June 30. Passengers who have transited through India in the past 14 days will also not be allowed to travel from any other point to the UAE.

UAE citizens, holders of UAE Golden Visas and members of diplomatic missions are exempt from the restrictions; they should however comply with the revised Covid-19 protocols.

Indian expatriates with Golden Visa fly back to Dubai

Apart from the special category expatriates, a number of Indians have managed to enter Dubai on charter flights. The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority has disallowed private jet operators from pooling charter flights, and only family groups would be allowed to hire jets.

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On May 29, an Emirates passenger jet flew to Dubai from Kochi with only nine passengers on board overnight. One was the family of Dubai businessman Younus Hassan, chairman of Al Ershad Computers. As holders of the 10-year UAE golden visa his family and another group were on board the 360-seater Emirates aircraft that landed in Dubai early on May 30 from Kochi.

He spent Dh9,000 ($2,450) on tickets for his four children in the 10 to 20 age group, and his wife to travel back to Dubai. The family had economy tickets but were permitted to sit in the business class. Each had a cabin crew assigned to take care of them.

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Two days earlier, another businessman with Golden Visa, Yassinul Kunnathadi, had flown solo on an Emirates flight to Dubai from Kochi. He got a royal treatment in the Business class cabin of the 450-seater aircraft, including being escorted to his car upon arrival.

Although empty return flights proceed as cargo flights, the presence of even one passenger changes the scenario and it functions as a fully passenger flight.

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Diamond merchant Bhavesh Javeri from Dubai, CEO of Dubai-based Stargems, was the first to hit headlines when he became the only passenger on an Emirates flight from Mumbai to Dubai. Javeri, who came to Dubai in 2001, had started as a salesman in a jewellery store with a salary of Dh1,600. He started his own company in 2004 and today his company has a turnover of over $650 million (Dh2.4 billion).