As per some reports, the Govt. of India will take a call on lifting the ban on scheduled international flights and it may resume as soon as 01st March 2022.
It is worth mentioning that in November 2021, the Govt of India has announced it will resume the operations of scheduled international flights with several countries starting 15th December 2021.
However, amid the fear of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, India postponed the resumption of scheduled international flights. The suspension of scheduled international passenger flights in India is currently in effect till 28th February 2022.
Scheduled International Flights From 01 March?
A report stated that an inter-ministerial committee of officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), and the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will meet this week to take a call on resumption of scheduled International flights to and from India.
The meeting will take into account the COVID-19 situation in India and determine whether scheduled international commercial flights can be restarted from March 1, officials said.
It is worth mentioning that DGCA and MoCA have proposed to lift the ban. However, the final nod is likely to come from the Ministry of Health And Family Welfare, which is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in India and other countries.
“The decision is yet to be taken by health ministry officials as some states with a high inflow of international traffic are still showing a rise in COVID-19 cases,” a government official said.
Air Bubble Arrangements
Currently, India is operating international flights under Vande Bharat Mission and Air Bubble Arrangements with 35 countries that include;
Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and Uzbekistan.
Moreover, Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved a proposal to establish an Air Travel Bubble (ATB) between India and Thailand. Both countries may soon enter into an agreement to start flight operations.
India Eases Travel Rules For International Arrivals
Earlier this week, India has relaxed international travel norms and issued new guidelines for international travelers arriving into the country starting from 14th February 2022.
Notably, the rules for international arrivals have been relaxed for 87 countries including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Maldives, New Zealand, Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, UK, and the USA. However, China and UAE are among those not on the list as of now.
The new guidelines stated that international travelers are no longer required to undergo pre-departure Covid-19 tests as long as they are fully vaccinated against Coronavirus.
Only 2% of international travelers flying to India will be tested randomly on their arrival at the airport.
Among other things, the requirement for mandatory 7 day home quarantine on arrival has also been rescinded. and need for undertaking RT-PCR test on 8th day & uploading the same on Air Suvidha portal is dispensed with.