In March 2020, it became apparent that international flights in India will not operate anytime soon. Since then, Air India has been operating repatriation flights, and the Government of India has stitched up Air Bubbles with various countries, and non-stop flights are only permitted to these countries at the moment.
A new order has been passed by the Government of India a few weeks ago, as a part of their plan to open up the lockdown. The new order notifies that international air travel opening up will be decided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in consultation with India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.
This is a change in tonality and gave many people hoped that international flights will be immediately opened. Not happening so soon, I say. The world is closed at the moment, and I would believe international travel will also open gradually.
At the moment, India has ‘Air Bubble’ Agreements with 27 nations and certain other Vande Bharat flights. I gather this would be targetted to clarify to the other airlines operating into India about how long they should not be planning operations to India. The really bad news is, the decision is postponed, and there is no final timeline for opening up Commercial international aviation, and it could go on longer.
The DGCA has now put up a notification further extending the ban till April 2021. The Air Bubble flights and Vande Bharat flights are excluded from this notification.
There has been a lot of leniencies that has been put in place with the air-bubbles that have been set up for months. However, this does not permit everyone in India to go wherever they want whenever they want subject to being approved by the other country to enter their country. The only liberties are in travelling to the USA, UK and some other countries for now.
What do you make of this International Flight India ban?
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