The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) Tuesday held a meeting with the Indian airlines regarding the resumption of regular scheduled international flights to/from India.
“There were discussions on the expansion of bubble flights to countries beyond the existing ones and also on restart of international flights but no decision has been taken on restart of a regular international flight,” a source said.
This was the first time that the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had called the airlines for discussions on restarting international flights and over six months since it allowed domestic flight operations in May with a capacity of 33 percent. The airlines are now allowed to operate domestic flights with a capacity of 80 percent.
International flight operations have been suspended since the end of March 2020 due to the pandemic. Only flights through the Vande Bharat Mission and air bubble arrangements are allowed.
Till now, India has the air bubble arrangements in place with a total of 23 countries which includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK) And, United States of America (USA)
The discussions on the resumption of regular international flights have been initiated after the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada started their Coronavirus vaccination programs. Airlines, however, are not very hopeful of the restart of international operations soon.