Abu Dhabi: An Indian man has spent $55,000 to hire a private jet which has flown his family from Kerala to the UAE, Gulf News has reported.
As his home country battles a terrifying wave of Covid, the businessman, P.D. Syamalan, hired the private aircraft to fly his family, including his newly wed daughter and her husband, to safety.
Commercial flights to and from India are currently suspended as the country faces a surge of Covid-19 cases, driven in part by a new variant discovered there, thought to be 15 times more infectious than the original virus.
The 13 passengers, including four employees of P.D. Syamalan, managing director of Sharjah-headquartered Al Ras Group, flew in from Cochin International Airport in Kochi, Kerala, to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai on Friday.
Syamalan, who has been a resident of the UAE since four decades, had flown down to his home country on March 15 to attend his daughter’s wedding. Following the ceremony, the family got stuck in the country as the pandemic grew stronger.
The family had to take show PCR negative tests conduicted 48 hours prior to take-off to the UAE authorities. They were tested on arrival and will be tested again on the fourth and eighth day of their arrival. All passengers on board the flight will also have to be in quarantine for at least ten days as per the decision made by UAE authorities.
Demand for private jets has soared in UAE following the restrictions placed aviation to and from India. Gulf News reported that a 13-seater jet would cost $55,000 while a 19-seater craft could be rented for $72,000. A request for a 50-seat aircraft has been filed with UAE aviation authorities to fly back employees of local companies who are stuck in India and cannot fly back commercially.