Rajiv Bansal, the Aviation Ministry Secretary on Wednesday said that India may resume the scheduled international flight operations by the end of this year.
It is worth mentioning here that the operation of scheduled international passenger flights to and from India was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India extends the suspension of scheduled international flights to/from India till Nov 30, 2021.
However, International flights specifically approved by the DGCA under the Vande Bharat Mission and Air Bubbles are allowed to operate to/from India.
Recently India has signed two such air bubble agreements with Mauritius and Finland and taking the total number of air bubble arrangements to 30 countries.
Aviation Minister On Resuming International Flights
Last week the Union Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the government of India is “evaluating the process” to normalize international flight operations. Scindia also added that India was getting back to normal, the pandemic’s resurgence in parts of Europe can’t be ignored.
“We are evaluating the process. We are coming back to normalcy. First, we allowed 100% passenger capacity in our domestic flights and now we allowed in-flight meals in those flights,” Scindia said at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) Global Economy Policy Summit.
The Aviation Minister said people have to be careful as the country is still fighting the covid-19 pandemic. “We want to resume international operations but in a safe environment,” Scindia said. “Despite vaccinations, countries like Russia and parts of Europe are fighting the fourth wave of the pandemic. Hence, we cannot let our guard down.”
“Let’s not erase our memories so soon, getting infected with the covid-19 virus is the worst thing possible.” He said the industry will see around 2,000 aircraft in the next decade.
Scindia also added that the decision to resume international flights will be made not by the ministry of civil aviation alone but by other ministries as well. Scheduled international passenger flights to and from India were suspended in March 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the Air India divestment status, Rajiv Bansal said the govt is making all efforts to hand over operations of Air India by the end of December.