India postpones international flight re-opening in light of new Coronavirus variant discovery

Late last week, India announced the reopening of international flights and a lapse of the travel bubble arrangements they had been signing up with various countries effective December 15, 2021. Ominously, this announcement came on the same day as the World Health Organisation took up a discussion on Omicron, the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2.

India will review international reopening

As a recap, India had announced that, apart from certain countries at risk in India’s assessment, there will be a complete resumption of flights from the rest of the world and a graded resumption from these at-risk countries effective December 15, 2021.

However, as various other countries started to close their doors, especially to the Southern part of Africa, India might also be looking at some measures in light of the new variant. In a tweet put out by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the nodal ministry for reviewing Covid-19 related measures in India, it mentioned that “decision on effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passengers service, to be reviewed, as per evolving global scenario.

This might mean that the Government of India might be having a rethink on allowing the resumption of international flights. We should hear more this week about this if something is in the works.

India has postponed reopening of international commercial flights

As per a new circular from the DGCA, India’s regulator for aviation, it seems that the new date for resumption of scheduled commercial aviation will be notified in due course, which gives us a sign that this won’t be going forth on December 15, 2021 as per the earlier announcement.

Bottomline

India has postponed, for now, the resumption of full commercial flights from India to most countries. This would mean, that the air bubbles will remain intact for now and those flights will operate as scheduled. However, other flights will be cancelled, if they ever went up on sale.

What do you make of India’s postponement of the reopening of International flights?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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