As per some media reports, the Govt of India may resume the operations of scheduled international flights and also eases travel rules for international passengers by March-April 2022.
Govt. sources said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is in talks with the Home and Health Ministries to the resumption of regular international flights to and from India.
However, The final decision on the resumption of scheduled international flights is yet to be taken.
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.
But due to the scare of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, the Indian govt decided had postponed the resumption of scheduled international flights and now further extended for another month.
The suspension of scheduled international passenger flights in India is currently in effect till February 28.
At present, Ministries are holding meetings on discussing the resumption of scheduled operations and are hopeful of providing a flexible travel experience for passengers looking to fly out of India.
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
Last week India has relaxed international travel norms and issued new guidelines for international travelers arriving into the country starting from today, 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.