India to resume international flights from December 15
India has finally decided to resume operation of international flights from December 15, 2020, after the coronavirus-induced suspension, the Aviation Ministry informed on Friday. However, in view of rising COVID-19 cases in a few countries, the Indian Government is adopting a cautious approach and barred flights to and from around 14 countries, which include France, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, Finland, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Botswana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Singapore. However, air bubble arrangements with these countries will continue.
As per the reports, the decision has been taken in consultation with the Health Ministry, keeping in mind the COVID situation across the world, especially the emergence of new variants.
Reports have it that the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India has already notified the airlines that they can start regular scheduled flights from mid-December to and from all nations, except the said 14 countries, with which India will continue the existing air bubble agreement.
Operations of regular international flights were suspended in March 2020 in the wake of COVID pandemic. The Civil Aviation Ministry even started Vande Bharat flights to ferry Indians from other countries who got stuck there due to the COVID pandemic. The Ministry also started air bubble agreements after the Vande Bharat flight with some countries to allow international travel.
Yesterday, MoCA Secretary Rajiv Bansal stated that he expects international flight operations will return to normalcy by the end of this year, as he hopes operations of international scheduled flights will resume soon.