Thursday, 20 January 2022

International passenger flights to remain suspended till 31st January

International passenger flights to remain suspended till 31st January

India will ban scheduled international passenger flights till 31st January in the wake of the emerging threat from the Omicron variant, aviation regulator DGCA said on Thursday.

DGCA said in a statement.

In partial changes to the earlier order, it has been decided to suspend the scheduled international passenger flights from and to India till 31st January,

However, the limitation will not apply to international cargo operations and flights specially approved by the regulator.

International flights scheduled may also be allowed on select routes on a case-to-case basis.

The scheduled international flights were supposed to start from 15th December, but keeping in view the nature of the Omicron variant, the government has decided to hold the plan.

DGCA has said earlier.

"In the view of the growing global scenario with a emergence of new variants of concerns, the situation is closely watched in consultation with all stakeholder and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services will be notified in due course," 

International passenger flights to remain suspended till 31st January 1unsplash image

Read More: International Flight Resume from 15th December in India

India had suspended international flights from 23rd March 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble arrangements formed with approximately 28 countries.

Under an air-bubble pact between two countries, their airlines can operate special international flights between their territories with specific restrictions.

India has formed air bubble pacts with around 32 countries, including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, and France.

On the domestic front, air passenger traffic rose marginally in the week ended 27th November amid a revival in travel sentiment during India's festival season.

Since June, domestic air passenger traffic has seen significant growth, with the easing of lockdown restrictions following a steady decline in new covid-19 cases, giving more people the confidence to undertake travel.

First detected in southern Africa weeks ago, Omicron is known to have spread to over 57 countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) expects the number to continue growing.

The government has released a list of at-risk countries, including Hong Kong and Israel, where travelers need to follow additional measures on arrival in India.

Earlier today, the government has removed Singapore from its list of "at-risk" nations, and travelers arriving from there need to take additional measures, including post-arrival testing for Covid-19, especially the new Omicron variant.

The current list of "at-risk" countries for the Covid-19 Omicron variant includes the United Kingdom, other countries in Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, and Israel.

Uncertainty about the new variant has triggered global alarm, with border closures casting a shadow over a nascent economic recovery from the two-year-old pandemic.

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