Skip to main content

UK media's sensational claim: Unidentified 'rich, famous' flee India's 2nd Covid wave

Peony Hirwani reports in "The Independent" that India’s rich and famous are fleeing the country on private jets as airfares soar amid Covid crisis, adding, VIPs have reportedly spent more than £100,000 chartering nine-hour private jet flights to London, amid a rush for regular tickets out of crisis-hit country.
Interestingly, however, the UK-based media refuses to identify who all are these "rich and famous" who have allgedly run away amidst the worst second wave. Wonder if anyone identified these rich and famous -- perhaps "Independent" should do it. Ironically, the Times of India did a similar story under the headline "India's super-rich beat deadline, land in UK in private jets".  
Read the "Independent" story:
***
India’s wealthiest are reportedly paying tens of thousands of pounds chartering private jets to flee the country amidst a devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With countries around the world banning flights from India amid concerns about the new coronavirus variants believed to be fuelling the current outbreak, the price of tickets to destinations still accepting travellers has skyrocketed.
Last week, a rush to reach the UK before it added India to a list of “red list” countries requiring hotel quarantine saw at least eight private jets chartered to make the nine-hour journey, according to The Times. It said the planes were believed to have cost up to £100,000 each to charter, and that one arrived in Britain just 45 minutes before the red list deadline.
Earlier this month,The Independent searched ticket options on providers including Air India, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Vistara from different Indian cities to UK airports, but no availability showed for any route.
“We are restricted by the number of flights we’re allowed to operate between the UK and India so unfortunately we’re unable to increase our flight or seat capacity,” said a spokesman from Virgin Atlantic, when asked about responding to the extraordinary demand.
The UK announced it was adding India to its travel “red list” on 19 April, giving four days’ notice. After 4am on 23 April, only UK residents and citizens would be able to make the journey from India, and would be subject to hotel quarantine.
It came after health secretary Matt Hancock said 103 Covid cases of the Indian variant had been found in the UK, largely related to travel, and just after Boris Johnson cancelled a visit to India.
Other countries that have limited travel from India include France, the UAE, Indonesia, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, the Maldives and Australia.
According to the Economic Times, a spokesman from the private Air Charter Service in India said on Saturday that the amount of interest in international flights was “absolutely crazy.”
“We have 12 flights going to Dubai tomorrow and each flight is completely full,” he said.
“I’ve fielded almost 80 enquiries for flying to Dubai today alone,” a spokesman for Enthral Aviation told AFP.
“We have requested more aircraft from abroad to meet the demand. It costs £27,337 to hire a 13-seater jet from Mumbai to Dubai and £22,301 to hire a six-seater aircraft.”
On Monday morning, India reported more than 352,000 new Covid cases, setting another record for daily infections for the fifth day in a row.
Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Disha Patani and Tiger Shroff were among those seen relaxing in the Maldives in the past week, and according to the Hindustan Times the four were seen arriving back in Mumbai on Sunday.
One user wrote about Shroff on Twitter: “He is asking us (common people) to understand the situation and stay at home while he is vacationing in Maldives!!”

Comments

TRENDING

Gujarat cadre woman IAS official who objected to Modi remark on sleeveless blouse

Two days back, a veteran journalist based in Patna, previously with the Times of India, Ahmedabad, phoned me up to inform me that he had a sad news: Swarnakanta Varma, a retired Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat, who was acting chief secretary on the dastardly Godhra train burning day, February 27, 2002, which triggered one of the worst ever communal riots in Gujarat, has passed away due to Covid. “I have been informed about this from a friend in Jaipur, where she breathed her last”, Law Kumar Mishra said.

#ResignModi vs TINA factor: This activist insists, he can indeed be an alternative!

Yesterday, I received an email alert by a social activist, Chandra Vikash, who is convener of the Global Academy for Indigenous Activism (GAIA) and chief mentor and innovation coach at the GAIA Innovation Labs, apparently seeking to answer the seeking to address #ResignModi hashtag, which he claims has received support from more than a hundred million Indians.

Why this marriage of son of non-IAS babu, earlier in Gujarat, became an event in Kerala

AK Vijay Kumar Many say, marriages are made in heaven. However, as a confirmed non-believer, I don’t seem to think that way. But if one were to believe that marriages are indeed made in heaven, would the guests who are invited in some of the high-profile weddings also decide the destiny of the newly weds? I don’t know. Yet, the fact is, the competition to invite guests at such weddings is something I noticed after I came to Ahmedabad in 1993 to join as assistant editor of the Times of India.