India to Canada through an oblique route [BOM-AUH-YYZ] – Blogs By Nerissa


Notice: The next info could be very particular to my private expertise of planning journey to Toronto and flying through an oblique route, based mostly on an end-to-end, single-airline itinerary with Etihad. You will have a distinct expertise based mostly on the airline, the route, the variety of layovers, and your vacation spot metropolis. Keep in mind, worldwide journey pointers are at all times altering so, you’ll want to do your individual due diligence and don’t depend on this publish as a single supply of reality.

Course of as of: November 2021

Airline: Etihad – Enterprise Class

Journey route: Mumbai – Abu Dhabi – Toronto

Passengers and standing: I’m a returning Everlasting Resident (PR) and travelling with my mom who’s on a customer visa. That is her first go to to Canada. We said our function of journey as Household Reunification. Each of us are Indian passport holders.


For detailed directions of Etihad’s journey necessities, you’ll be able to confer with their COVID hub—which is usually up to date; I adopted all directions outlined there. Under is an summary of issues I did pre-travel:

1. Air Tickets Reserving

Presently, there are two methods to fly to Canada from India:

  • Direct route: You journey from your private home metropolis to Delhi after which board a direct flight to Canada. Direct flights are solely supplied by Air India and Air Canada. Travelling by this direct route requires an RT-PCR take a look at to be taken at Delhi airport. See the airport web site for extra particulars about reserving this PCR take a look at. For detailed journey necessities by authorities of Canada, see the journey recommendation from Transport Canada.
  • Oblique route: You journey through a 3rd nation the place you will need to do the RT-PCR take a look at earlier than boarding a flight to Canada. Whilst you can plan your journey by varied cities internationally, if in case you have your total itinerary booked with Etihad, there’s an choice to do the PCR take a look at in transit at Abu Dhabi, with out leaving the airport.

I selected to fly Etihad primarily as a result of I discovered the in-transit RT-PCR providing to be very handy and hassle-free. Nonetheless, observe that this route is among the costlier choices to journey to Canada. So, if finances is a crucial criterion for you, it could be worthwhile to e book one other route or a direct flight from Delhi.

Airfares: For North American routes, flying internationally throughout summer season (June, July and August), winter (November, December and January) and spring break (March-April) is often costly. It’s possible you’ll get deal if you happen to e book a couple of months upfront. Whereas I used to be reserving my journey, some financial system tickets on Air India and Air Canada have been the identical value as enterprise class tickets on Etihad—this was another excuse why I selected to fly Enterprise. So, you’ll want to consider all of your choices earlier than you e book.  

I booked immediately through the Etihad web site a month earlier than my journey date. I used to be monitoring airfares for a couple of flights for nearly two months earlier than I locked down on this itinerary (EY205 / EY141).

Tip: If potential, e book your tickets immediately with the airline as a substitute of an agent or by third-party websites providing cheaper/discounted airfares. Journey throughout latest occasions is stuffed with uncertainty, and if you happen to ever need to cancel or rebook your flight for an additional date, it will likely be a neater course of in case your reserving was direct with the airline.  

2. RT-PCR Take a look at

Passengers transiting by Abu Dhabi are required to take an RT-PCR take a look at of their house metropolis from an ICMR accepted laboratory inside 72 hours of their first flight to Abu Dhabi.

For my journey starting on Nov 12 at 2:50 am IST, I took the take a look at at Dr. Jariwala Laboratory at 11:30 am on Nov 9 and acquired the outcomes inside 5 hours. My take a look at outcome got here with a QR code (which is obligatory for worldwide journey) and included my passport quantity (not important, however good to have). It prices INR 600 (~CAD 10) per take a look at. Etihad doesn’t require bodily copies of the take a look at report; a digital copy is okay. Nevertheless it’s higher to print a replica for good measure.

Tip: When you plan on reserving your PCR take a look at at this lab, you may get same-day outcomes offered you give your pattern earlier than 12 midday.

If Dubai or Abu Dhabi is your ultimate vacation spot, that means, you propose to clear immigration and step outdoors the airport – even for a couple of hours, you must take two PCR exams: first, 48 hours earlier than your flight from house metropolis and second, 6 hours earlier than your flight, on the airport. The take a look at to be taken 6 hours earlier than is NOT required if you happen to’re simply transiting by Abu Dhabi for a couple of hours. Nonetheless, the necessities for Dubai are barely completely different, so it will be greatest to examine the Emirates web site or the Dubai airport web site for the newest info. Moreover, you may additionally be required to obtain and register on some particular UAE authorities apps.

3. ArriveCAN App

All people coming into Canada are required to fill the ArriveCAN app. You may fill within the particulars within the app and generate your code anytime inside 72 hours of your touchdown time on the first port of entry in Canada.

I did that at 12:30 pm IST on Nov 10 (my touchdown time in Toronto was 4:30 pm ET on Nov 12). Whereas filling the app, you’ll have to add your vaccination certificates if you happen to’re vaccinated. RT-PCR outcomes are usually not required to generate the code; you simply need to reply whether or not you took the take a look at. In case of journey through Abu Dhabi with Etihad, you may be answering YES for a future take a look at. You should definitely fill within the particulars on the app accurately and generate your code earlier than you check-in on the airport; it’s required earlier than issuing the boarding cross.

4. Vaccination data and getting ‘Verified to Fly’

It isn’t obligatory to be vaccinated to journey to Canada (extra particulars on the CIC website), however it’s actually really useful for easy travels.

Etihad asks you to add your vaccination certificates for his or her ‘Verified to Fly’ program – it helps you fast-track your check-in course of on the airport. To register for it, you’ll need your PCR take a look at outcome and vaccination certificates. That is an non-compulsory service and is on the market freed from value. I’m totally vaccinated in Canada with Pfizer and my mom is totally vaccinated with Covishield; each are accepted vaccines in Canada, so we didn’t have any challenge. I registered for this program within the afternoon on Nov 10 and acquired affirmation on Nov 11, roughly six hours earlier than check-in time.


At Mumbai Airport

Transit lodge keep

Since I reside removed from Mumbai airport and was travelling with my mother who suffers from Parkinson’s, I assumed it will be a good suggestion to e book a room at Resort Niranta—a transit lodge positioned inside the airport. You may solely e book a room right here if in case you have an onward flight from Mumbai inside 48 hours.

Attending to the lodge: When you’re driving to this lodge, it’s positioned at Arrivals P4, Gate #2. You’ll have to park on P5 as there’s no parking on P4 and neither are you able to drive by for curbside drop-off.

Tip: Verify if in case you have any bank card factors you’ll be able to make the most of in your reserving. I managed to make use of my factors and keep at no cost.

Keep expertise: The rooms are spacious and well-kept—glorious for a brief keep to clean up and board your flight. Room service is on the market. We checked in to the lodge at about 3:30 pm and stayed till 10:30 pm (7 hours). Took a nap, freshened up, had dinner and headed out to Etihad’s check-in counter which is a couple of 5-10 minute stroll from the lodge.

Attending to the check-in counters: You must swap elevators twice on completely different flooring to get to the check-in counters. Ask round and safety will information you. The lodge provides a non-public wheelchair service for INR 1,050—from lodge to plane. Porter providers are additionally out there for INR 750. Each these providers must be booked upfront else, will not be out there whenever you want them.   

Verify-in, safety, and immigration

We took one hour to finish check-in, safety, and immigration—this was primarily as a result of we had separate queues for enterprise class. I realized that the devoted safety and immigration queue for enterprise and first-class travellers at Mumbai airport opened very not too long ago (it was closed in the course of the pandemic). After I glanced over on the traces for Financial system passengers, it appeared prefer it may take over an hour or perhaps even 2 hours to clear safety and immigration.

Lounge expertise

As enterprise class passengers have entry to the lounge, we waited right here till it was time for our flight. Should say that many people within the lounge have been roaming about with out masks. Some continued on this method till they boarded the plane.

Boarding the airplane

Boarding took longer than anticipated and that resulted in takeoff delay. Bought to know from the wheelchair assistant that Mumbai airport has scheduled every day cleanup of the runway from 3:15 to three:45 AM. Our flight was scheduled for two:50 AM and as a result of delay, it was previous 3:15. Therefore, we may solely take off at 4:25 AM, a delay of over one hour and half-hour.

Because of this delay, our transit time at Abu Dhabi—which was six hours and 50 minutes—was now diminished to roughly 5 hours and 20 minutes. This was nonetheless adequate time to get the PCR take a look at completed.

In-flight BOM to AUH

The in-flight enterprise class expertise was nice. The plane had one in every of Etihad’s newest Enterprise Studio so every thing appeared very fancy.

At Abu Dhabi Airport

When you alight at Abu Dhabi, you’ll have to undergo safety screening once more. No paperwork or passport is required right here. This course of is similar as pre-COVID journey.

The general expertise at Abu Dhabi airport wasn’t nice; issues felt a bit unorganized and chaotic. The delayed arrival didn’t assist both. There was a really lengthy await wheelchairs. Individuals who wanted wheelchair help have been requested to be seated in a crowded ready corridor they usually prioritized everybody based mostly on flight timings.

PCR Testing

Since they weren’t offering an estimated wait time for wheelchairs, my mother and I made a decision to stroll to the PCR take a look at space. These exams are performed at Gates 28 and 29. There’s no signage there indicating that it’s the testing space; simply comply with the instructions to those gates and also you’ll be fantastic.

Upon arriving at gates 28 and 29, you must go to one of many counters and guarantee your identify is on the listing for PCR testing after which wait till passport assortment. As soon as the passports are collected, they’re tagged with an ID in your PCR take a look at outcomes after which you may be referred to as to take the take a look at. Passports are returned after the pattern is collected.

Regardless that my mother and I have been among the final folks to take the take a look at, we acquired our leads to lower than two hours, nicely earlier than boarding time.

Lounge Expertise

The lounge expertise at Abu Dhabi was nice, no complaints. We may seize some meals, loosen up, and refresh earlier than our boarding. The employees was form sufficient and proactive to rearrange wheelchair help for my mother.

Boarding the airplane

Previous to boarding, they are going to examine your ArriveCAN receipt, detrimental PCR take a look at outcome taken at Abu Dhabi airport, passport, and your PR card or legitimate visa for Canada.

As enterprise class passengers our boarding expertise was very easy; my mother and I have been the primary ones to board the airplane. It was a full flight and the boarding space appeared overcrowded with passengers.

Our flight took off roughly half-hour previous the scheduled departure time.  

In-flight AUH to YYZ

The in-flight expertise from Abu Dhabi to Toronto was nice. Though this plane was an older one, I discovered it to be way more comfy than their newer Enterprise Studios. Service was nicely spaced out, leaving loads of time to atone for sleep.


Our flight landed 45 minutes late (5:15 PM ET, as a substitute of 4:30 PM). We have been then requested to attend for 15 extra minutes as there was a passenger on our airplane who wanted medical help.

The expertise at Toronto airport was nice. Wheelchair help was pre-arranged and well-coordinated; we didn’t have any bother in any respect. Simply keep in mind that whenever you arrive at peak hours (within the afternoon and night), it might probably take a bit longer to undergo immigration.


Immigration was easy – the CBSA officer didn’t ask my mother any questions. We solely needed to present the ArriveCAN receipts, and I answered the usual touchdown declaration questions.

We have been capable of full all formalities and gather our luggage in about one hour half-hour. We exited the airport at about 7:15 pm ET.

This marks the top of a 40+ hour journey for me and my mother. I hope this publish gives some perception into what to anticipate whereas travelling to Canada from India.

Secure travels!



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