After a suspension of two years, India resumes international flights from March 27, 2022, as per the statement issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tuesday (08.03.2022). While the scheduled international flights have been suspended since the inception of Covid-19 in India that is from March 2020, a few special flights have been functioning between India and 37 nations since July 2020 under the Air Bubble Agreement. So let us have a look at the international flights news today.
India Resumes International Flights After 2 Years
On Tuesday the Centre said that India resumes international flights that were suspended because of the prevailing pandemic. The Ministry of Civil Aviation said in an official statement,
The statement stating Indian resumes international flights said that the functioning will be subject to
This is dated to February 10, which says that all the travelers who are coming from India should either be completely vaccinated and carry the required certificates, or a negative RT-PCR report. The international flights booking will be open soon.
As the decision arrives just before the summer travel season, it will enable airlines to add international flights. This decision could result in the lowering of airfares on some international routes which have increased in the recent weeks because of the increasing oil prices and the prevailing Ukraine crisis.
A senior government official said in an interview that with the decks being cleared to resume functioning later this month, the process of confirming the summer schedule for international flights will begin now. The process is being held by various stakeholders that include airlines, civil aviation ministry, airports, DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in coordination with each other.
The decision implies that airlines can function with capacity as planned under the original bilateral air service agreements among India and their home nations, instead of the limited capacities decided under the air bubble arrangements.
So, nations like the US, where the bilateral agreement with India states unlimited flight frequencies can be functioned by airlines of both nations, could witness a decline in fares of non-stop flights. However, airline executives are cautious of the effect of the prevailing Ukraine crisis and the consequent airspace limitations. As per the industry sources, increasing jet fuel prices and the rerouting of flights because of the airspace restrictions have already resulted in a rise in fares for India-US and India-Canada flights.
Before the suspension of flights in March 2020, according to the winter schedule of 2019-20 (October 27, 2019, to March 28, 2020), nearly 580 international flights functioned from India every day, of which 247 were operated by Indian airlines and 333 by international carriers.
After the initial suspension in March 2020, which was valid for a month, the government extended the suspension every month. An earlier plan on India resumes international flights from December 15, 2021, was shelved by the government following the inception of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. According to Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and group CEO of online travel platform ixigo,
He further said that,
India resumes international flights from March 27, two years after the industry was shut because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government declared on Tuesday. The union ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) stated that the international functioning, however, will be subject to tough adherence to the guidelines levied by the ministry of health & family welfare for international travel as amended from time to time.