Thursday, 20 January 2022

International Flight Resume from 15th December in India

International Flight Resume from 15th December in India

On Friday, the Aviation Ministry informed that India would restart scheduled international flights from 15 December after the coronavirus-induced suspension,

Civil Aviation Ministry, in a statement, said the matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services had been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of External Affairs.

The statement read.

“The subject of matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger to and from India has been examined in discussion with Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs and it has been decided that plan commercial international passenger services to from India may be resumed from 15 December, 2021,”

The announcement comes two days after Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said international flight operations are expected to return to normalcy soon “by the end of this year.”

International flights have been suspended since 23 March last year in India owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension was extended until 30 November, exempting dedicated cargo and commercial flights under air-bubble arrangements with the destination countries. However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble arrangements formed with approximately 28 countries.

The Civil Aviation Ministry said in its latest announcement.

“Resumption of commercial international passenger services would imply reversion to bilaterally agreed capacity entitlements and termination of air bubble arrangements,”

Suppose a country wants to operate scheduled passenger flights to another nation. In that case, a bilateral air services agreement has to be negotiated to decide how many airlines, ports of entry, and total flights (or seats) weekly can be allowed between the two.

International Flight Resume from 15th December in India 1unsplash image

Read More: Fully vaccinated travelers from 99 countries are free from quarantine on arrival in India

In the letter to the DGCA aviation regulator, Civil Aviation Ministry asked it to take “further necessary action” to resize scheduled international flights. Following this, the DGCA issued a formal notification about the resumption of scheduled international passenger flights.

The ministry noted that the countries the Health Ministry has identified as not “at-risk” of Covid-19 will get “full capacity entitlements according to the bilateral air service agreements.” As per the latest update, the Health Ministry has put countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel, under the ‘at-risk category.

According to the Aviation Ministry, if a country has been identified to be “at-risk” of Covid-19 and has an air bubble agreement with India, then “75 per cent of pre-COVID scheduled international flight operations of Indian or foreign carrier whichever is higher or a minimum of seven frequencies per week subject to availability of entitlements under bilateral agreements will be permitted”.

Whereas, for a country that has been identified to be “at-risk” of Covid-19 and does not have an air-bubble agreement with India, then only “50 per cent of bilateral capacity entitlements or 50 per cent of pre-COVID operations of Indian or foreign carrier, whichever is higher”, will be permitted.

Under an air bubble agreement between the two nations, airlines of both countries can operate special flights between their territories with certain restrictions.

It also stressed that all scheduled international flights would have to strictly adhere to the Union health ministry’s protocols for international travel issued on 11 November this year.

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