International Flights: Air Bubbles Likely To Continue Till March-April 2021

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Union civil aviation minister, Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday in a press conference said the future of scheduled commercial international flights is now depending on the availability of a vaccine.

While Answering a question on whether travel bubble arrangements will continue till March-April, the minister said, “It is difficult to say as there is no country which has completely opened its borders for all. It depends on the availability of a vaccine as countries will feel more confident once a vaccine is there.”

Air Bubbles are temporary agreements between two countries aimed to restart commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Scheduled international passenger flight services have been suspended till 31st October 2020, Hardeep Singh Puri hinted that this suspension is likely to be in place till March-April.

On, Domestic flights operation in the country Puri said Domestic airlines will soon be allowed to increase their capacity to 75 percent. At present, they are operating at 65 percent capacity, after domestic flights resumed operations on May 25 — following a gap of two months of lockdown.”

“There isn’t any deadline. But this will happen soon because the domestic numbers are increasing. Before this, I said that the pre-COVID domestic number is going to be achieved between Diwali and New Year. Now I am confident that by the first quarter next year, we will be ready to surpass the pre-COVID number,” the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Puri said.

“This marks the beginning of the second phase of domestic travel as we are now gearing up to face the challenge of welcoming more people in the airports because the festive season is nearly upon us. We had a meeting with the airlines recently in this regard,” Pradeep Singh Kharola, civil aviation secretary said.

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