India Eyeing Launch of Regular International Flights In March

Anna Zvereva, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The Indian Aviation Ministry has announced that they are considering allowing operations for regular international flights from March after due diligence and clearance from Indian Health Ministry which will consider global pandemic levels and vaccination situation before giving approval.

 With increasing domestic traffic trends crossing beyond 80% of its capacity and upcoming summer holidays, the Indian aviation ministry is rigorously considering opening its international borders and thus offering resumption of scheduled services to and from India.  

On condition of anonymity, an official source acquainted with the news mentioned to the local newspaper agency that, “India’s domestic traffic has rebounded fast, and a decision was needed to be taken on resumption of international flights. A proposal has been sent to the health ministry for resuming international flights from March 15th.”

In a pre-Covid era, airlines in India used to operate around 2,800 flights and apparently adjusted those same numbers with 80% capacity last week, the domestic traffic trends in India have rebounded rigorously, with Indian carriers moving 343,000 passengers on Sunday 20th February 2022 with staggering 2335 flights.

Indian Aviation Ministry on many occasions had shown positive signs with the resumption of international flights, the latest being in November 2022, which was then later scrapped due to increased transmission of the Omicron variant.

Post downcurved trends of Omicron were observed, Indian authorities dropped mandatory negative RTPCR reports and mandatory quarantine requirements for double-dosed vaccinated passengers from 82 countries.

The stressed aviation industry welcomed this decision by the Indian authorities with positive signs and assertation, as this would mean opening more avenues and traffic growth.

Many Indian policymakers, government officials, and aviation think tanks applauded this decision by the Indian government and asserted that this would be the right time for India to open its borders for many countries, as many countries are making positive efforts to overcome the past two years of suffering and losses.

At present, India has signed a safe bubble flight agreement with 37 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to execute commercial services with regular international flights on reciprocal passage rights.

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