Without a Schengen Visa, Indians are unable to fly to the United Kingdom on European airlines. Indian citizens are not permitted to fly to the United Kingdom on European Union airlines.
Without a transit or regular Schengen visa, Indian citizens are not permitted to fly to the United Kingdom on European Union airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France. Officials are detaining these passengers at their origin airports in India. Following Brexit, the European Union required non-EU citizens to have a Schengen visa in order to fly to the UK on transit flights operated by EU carriers.
Moreover, the rule was changed during the Coronavirus pandemic, when most flights were cancelled around the world and people preferred to stay indoors. According to officials, the change occurred in January of last year. At the time, India was operating “air bubbles” with a number of countries to facilitate international connectivity. As a result, at the time, people primarily travelled to the United Kingdom via direct flights from India.
As regular flights restarted, several airlines began to offer one-stop routes between India and the rest of the world. Many travellers who did not have a Schengen visa but were booked on EU carriers were denied boarding at Indian airports, much to their surprise. A Schengen visa enables tourists to move freely throughout the Schengen area, which consists of 26 EU member states with no border controls.
Non-EU citizens can only fly to the UK without a transit or regular Schengen visa if they take non-stop flights or one-stop flights through Gulf countries or Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU and thus is exempt from the rule.
According to industry observers, one-stop flights (via the Gulf or Europe) have done well since regular flight services resumed, particularly following the Russia-Ukraine crisis. To reduce losses, several carriers are offering one-stop services between major cities around the world. Furthermore, one-stop flights benefit long-haul carriers the most (India-US, India-EU, and India-UK). In this case, the European Union rule has slowed the recovery of airliners following the pandemic.
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