India to resume international flights from 15th December

The Civil Aviation Ministry stated in his statement that the matter to resume the commercial international flight services has been properly examined in thorough discussion with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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India to resume international flights from 15th December

India is all set to resume the scheduled international flights from 15th December after the Covid-19 induced suspension, informed by the Aviation Ministry on Friday.

The Civil Aviation Ministry stated in his statement that the matter to resume the commercial international flight services has been properly examined in thorough discussion with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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

The announcement is being made two days after Rajiv Bansal who is the Civil Aviation Secretary stated, “international flight operations are expected to return to normalcy soon, by the end of this year.”

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

The suspension of flights was increased till 30th November, except cargo and commercial flights that duly fall under air-bubble arrangements with the destination nations. However, there were some special international passenger flights that have been operating since last year July also under air bubble arrangements made with almost 28 nations.

“Resumption of commercial international passenger services would imply reversion to bilaterally agreed capacity entitlements and termination of air bubble arrangements,” the Civil Aviation Ministry stated in its recent announcement.

If any nation wants to operate scheduled flights for travelers to another country, a bilateral air services agreement must be done to decide how many airlines, ports for entries, and total number of flights (or seats) weekly can be permitted between the two nations.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had decided to write a letter to aviation regulator DGCA seeking it to take “further necessary action” to resume the scheduled international flights. Following this, the DGCA listed a formal notification about the resumption of international flights for passengers.

The ministry noted that nations the Health Ministry has seen as not “at-risk” of Coronavirus will get “full capacity entitlements according to the bilateral air service agreements.” As per the recent update, some nations have been put under the “at-risk” category by the Health Ministry. The countries are the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel.

If a nation has been seen to be “at-risk” of coronavirus and has an air-bubble agreement with India, then “75 percent 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,” according to the Aviation Ministry.

Whereas, for a nation that has been seen to be “at-risk” but does not have any sort of agreement with India, then only “50 percent of bilateral capacity entitlements or 50 percent of pre-COVID operations of Indian or foreign carrier, whichever is higher”, will be allowed.

Under the air bubble agreement between two countries, airlines of both nations are permitted to operate special flights between their areas with some restrictions.

It also highlighted that all scheduled international flights will have to rigidly stick to the Union health ministry’s protocols for global travel that has been listed this year on 11th November.

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India to resume international flights from 15th December
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The Civil Aviation Ministry stated in his statement that the matter to resume the commercial international flight services has been properly examined in thorough discussion with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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