At the peak of the second wave, India first banned, and then allowed a very low number of flights each one’s carriers could fly to the other country. It turns out, the initial plan which was valid in January 2021 was somehow extended all the way till August 2021.
Resumption of flights between India & UK:
India to UK from 6 Jan 2021.
UK to India from 8 Jan 2021.
30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian & UK carriers.
This schedule is valid till 23 Jan 2021. Further frequency will be determined after review.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 2, 2021
Since the UK put India on the Red list, there was not much conversation about this for a long while after that, till recently when the UK moved India from the Red List to the Amber List. This move opened the floodgates of travel between the two countries again, especially because of the students who have to fly to the UK for their studies. For instance, this is the rush at the Mumbai Airport on August 9, 2021 with all the students heading to the UK. I haven’t seen such a rush at the airport in a while.
Anyhow, this sudden surge led to the spike in prices of tickets between India and the UK, leading to some of those instances where people pull up fares of J Class and do not validate them before putting out on Twitter.
Fare of ₹ 3.95 lakh one way Delhi to London on Aug 26. No, it's not 1st class. It's economy on @British_Airways. @airindiain @airvistara etc. also 1.2 to 2.3 lakh. College admission time! See minimum fare on @GoogleTravel in August. Have alerted Secretary @MoCA_GoI. @JM_Scindia pic.twitter.com/uxFF8dgaLk
— Sanjeev Gupta (@sanjg2k1) August 7, 2021
Given the outrage this caused, even though the prices were not as high for economy class, our regulator made an announcement to not depend on meta-search to book tickets.
— DGCA (@DGCAIndia) August 10, 2021
After this, they relaxed the cap on special flights that operate between India and the U.K. from 30 to 60 flights per week from August 16, 2021 onwards. The Indian regulator has now notified that the number of flights between India and the UK will be doubled and this number will be valid till further orders.
Out of the 34 frequencies per week available to Indian carriers, 29 frequencies have been allotted to Air India and the remaining 5 frequencies have been allotted to Vistara.
The updated schedule has not been yet published on the Vistara, Air India, Virgin Atlantic or British Airways website. We will update the schedule in this story as soon as it is available.
India has now allowed for the doubling of flights between India and the UK, effective August 16, 2021 onwards. While airline schedules are yet to be announced with the new schedule, airfares between the two countries are slated to reduce in the coming days after the new schedules come in.
Anybody flying to the UK anytime soon? What do you think?
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