In 19 Days India Will Reopen For International Flights

After almost two years of being barred from doing so, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has finally declared that scheduled foreign commercial flights would be permitted to return to the country. Because of concerns about the coronavirus, only planes operating as part of bilateral ‘air bubbles’ have been able to service India up until now.

There are 19 days left.

It has been a difficult couple of years in the world of aviation for anyone who wish to travel overseas, either to or from India. As reported by The Indian Express, planned overseas flights would be prohibited in the country starting on March 23, 2020. Also noteworthy in the United Kingdom, since it marked the commencement of the country’s first state of lockdown.

In a little more than two weeks, it will be two years since this prohibition was initially implemented. There have been unsuccessful efforts to get it lifted, such as on December 15, 2021. The advent of the Omicron variety, on the other hand, necessitated a further delay, this time until January 19th of this year. This was later extended to the 28th of February.

At this time, India first planned to keep the extension in place until further notice, but then changed its mind. After little over a week, though, the finish is finally in sight. The Ministry of Civil Aviation informed earlier today that scheduled international commercial passenger flights to and from India would be able to resume in 19 days, on March 27, 2022, after the conclusion of the current suspension.

What is the reason behind India’s reopening?

The question now is: What, precisely, has changed in the interim decade that has enabled India to resume full-scale border openings?
As has been the case with numerous regulation modifications in the past, international vaccination initiatives have played a critical role in allowing more people to travel. Almost 60 percent of Indians have already received all of their vaccinations. The Ministry of Civil Aviation provides the following explanation:

“Following consideration of the enhanced vaccination coverage around the world, as well as engagement with stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to restart scheduled commercial international passenger flights to and from India beginning on March 27,2022, as previously announced. (…) It is thus only until 2359 hours IST on March 26, 2012 that the suspension of scheduled commercial international passenger flights to and from India would be prolonged.”

Another important aspect in the decision to reopen on March 27th is the fact that this date marks the beginning of the International Air Transport Association’s Summer Schedule. However, the Ministry emphasizes that the health and safety of passengers and crew members continues to be a primary concern. To be sure, it stipulates that “foreign activities should be subject to rigorous adherence to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare regulations and procedures.”

During the prohibition, certain foreign flights have been able to operate.

Some international commercial flights to and from India have continued to function even though scheduled international commercial flights to and from India have been suspended for over two years. Simple Flying, for example, published an assessment of Virgin Atlantic’s service between Delhi and London last year. They have been able to do so on the basis of bilateral ‘air bubble’ agreements, in which participating nations get advantages in exchange for their participation.

According to The Indian Express, over 40 nations have entered into similar agreements with India since July 2020, and the number is growing. The reopening, on the other hand, will now enable the nation to reestablish contact with the rest of the globe. Regarding the 27th of March, the Ministry states that “air bubble preparations will be expanded to the degree necessary to achieve this result.”

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