‘Evaluating Process’ To Normalize International Flight Operations, Says Aviation Minister

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Union Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said that India was getting back to normal, the pandemic’s resurgence in parts of Europe can’t be ignored.

Scindia added that the resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe could mean a longer wait for the opening up of international flights.

He said the government is “evaluating the process” to normalize international flight operations.

“Let me commit to you that we are evaluating that process. However, keep in mind what’s happening in the world, including in Russia, parts of Europe, they are going through a fourth wave that too despite the vaccines,” he said at a CII event while urging people not to “erase our short-term memories so soon.” India had this summer witnessed a deadly second wave of the virus.

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The government is likely to now weigh in on the Covid situation before deciding on scheduled international flights that were suspended in March 2020.

Since last summer, international flights have been operating under air bubbles. Till now India has signed air bubble agreements with a total of 30 countries.

However, the limited capacity has led to exorbitant international fares. On peak travel days, one-way ticket now often costs more than pre-pandemic return fares.

The aviation ministry said it is open to creating bubbles with more countries as well as allowing more flights under the existing bubbles.

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Recently, the Civil Aviation Authority of India has signed Air Bubble Agreement with Mauritius and Finland and more countries could soon be added to this list.


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