Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Flights are Coming Back, Albeit a bit Slowly

India’s domestic aviation companies are gradually restarting flights to the relief of business and leisure travellers. Although restrictions by individual states may still impose some difficulties, starting October, there has been a rise in the number of operational flights.

For example, Air India has resumed its Mumbai-Mangalore-Mumbai flights, operating four days a week.

Its subsidiary Alliance Air has started Bengaluru-Madurai-Coimbatore-Bengaluru four days a week flights with same day return. The airline has started operations between Jagdalpur and Hyderabad as well as between Jagdalpur and Raipur, recently.

Among the private operators, Spice Jet has started its Delhi-Kangra-Delhi flight since October 12. With Himachal Pradesh ready to allow tourists without any medical certificate, the flight is a welcome option for those who might want to visit the region during Dussehra and Diwali. The airlines also said that from November 8, it will operate daily return flights between Darbhanga (in Bihar) and Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

However, before embarking on the domestic flights, it is advisable to check the quarantine rules as they may differ from state to state.

Also, do note, the days of flights may change subject to availability of aircraft and other operational requirements. It is always best to check with the airlines before planning or buying tickets.

Although India has been running air bubbles with several countries, according to media reports, international flights are likely to remain suspended till March-April 2021.

According to the guidelines issued for the Unlock 5 phase (October 1 to 31), the central government said international flights will not be resumed during this period, except for all-cargo operations and for flights specifically approved by the DGCA.

In a recent press conference in Delhi, India’s civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that Government of India has formalised air bubble arrangements with 16 countries: USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Japan, Nigeria, Kenya, Iraq, Bhutan and Oman.

14/10/20 Outlook

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