India May Allow Normalization Of International Flights By Dec-End

Story Highlights
  • Regular international flight operations are likely to resume soon.
  • • Government extended the suspension of International till November 30th.
  • Domestic air passenger traffic saw a 27.15% growth last month during the festive season.

New Delhi: International passenger flight services are expected to be normalised “very soon” and possibly by the end of this year, Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said on Wednesday. Scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remain suspended since March 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The suspension has been extended till November 30th. Currently, India has air bubble arrangements with more than 25 countries for operating international flights. Under an air bubble arrangement between two countries, international passenger flights can be operated by their respective carriers into each other’s territories subject to certain conditions.

Last week, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the government was evaluating the process for normalising international operations and asserted that it wants to return to normalcy while keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic situation in certain parts of the world. “I am all for regaining our space in the civil aviation arena in the world and making a hub in India and for more wide-body aircraft. We will get there but bear with me and trust me; I am on your side. We will work together but in a safe environment,” he had said.

In October, the government has allowed airlines to operate domestic flights without any capacity restriction. Domestic air passenger traffic saw a 27.15% growth last month during the festive season following a decline in Covid cases that gave confidence to more people to travel by air. Meanwhile, the average number of daily fliers rose to 364,000 during the week ending on November 20th up from 352,000 a week before

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