Regular international flights are expected to resume by March-April

Aviation Ministry is in talks with home and health ministries on resuming regular international flights, said a news report on Wednesday, February 16.

The current ban on scheduled international flights, imposed due to Covid, is valid until February 28. The government is considering resuming international flights by March-April, reported CNBC TV-18. The report said the final decision on the resumption of regular international flights is yet to be taken.

The aviation ministry had earlier announced plans to resume regular international flights starting December 15, 2021, but rescinded that order due to the rise in Omicron cases.

Regular international flights are expected to resume by March-April

Domestic airlines operated more than 2,800 flights before the pandemic in 2020. On Sunday, February 13, they operated 2,058 flights and to reach 80% of the pre-Covid level, the number has to go over 2,200.

The scheduled international passenger flight ban has been in place in India since March 23, 2020. However, special passenger flights have been operating between India and approximately 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with them.

India currently has air transport bubbles with Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, US and Uzbekistan.

India and 40 countries since July 2020 are operating flights under air bubble arrangements.

Last week, the Ministry of Health issued a statement and informed that besides uploading negative RT-PCR report (taken 72 hrs before journey), the option to upload the certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination provided from countries on a reciprocal basis.

“All travellers will self-monitor their health for the next 14 days of arrival. If travellers under self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number,” the ministry said.

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