International Flights Are Still Banned: Govt Not Allowing International Flights, Critical Meeting Is Over
As countries all around the world like the UK, the US and Canada have started their Covid-19 vaccination programmes, India’s aviation ministry called a meeting with airlines on Tuesday to discuss resuming international flights.
However, no decision has been taken yet.
During the meeting, airlines rooted and pitched for looking beyond the air bubbles, which is being used to connect international destinations.
This meeting was of great significance as the vaccine has emerged as a ray of hope to the stalled economic activities, and the vaccine programs have brightened the prospects of opening up global aviation as well as the normality restored in the coming months.
“The issue of resumption of international flights and expansion of existing air bubble flights will be discussed with all airlines,” said a source aware of the matter who did not want to be identified.
On Resuming The International Travel
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is exploring the option of resuming international flights and is likely to discuss the subject with airlines at a meeting on December 15.
In the wake of Covid 19 virus, international travel was suspended since March, Only flights through Vande Bharat Mission and air bubble arrangements with countries are permitted.
The airlines now will be allowed to operate at 80 percent capacity, as opposed to 33 percent capacity which was when the domestic flights were resumed on May 25.
Different Approach On International As Compared To Domestic
Since the major hubs in SouthEast Asia and West Asia are expected to be opened up sooner than the US or European destinations, airlines advocated that the ministry should look at opening up the connectivity to these hubs.
However, the same approach might not be taken by the centre when it comes to the international flights as this time it would depend on other countries and their willingness to resume allowing flights from India and pointed out several specific country’s norms.
“There are several countries that would like resumption of regular flight connectivity with India and some may not. So, resumption of international flights would depend on that,” a source told the publication.
Civil aviation regulator DGCA had recently extended the international flight ban till 31 December because of the pandemic.
The restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA).
Anyone who wants to travel to foreign countries will have to depend on the air bubble arrangements. Under this arrangement, special international flights can be operated by the airlines of the respective countries between their territories.