Friday, October 30, 2020

Govt extends ban on international flights: When and how you can travel

India has extended the ban on scheduled international commercial flights till November 30. While this has been done in line with the extension of last month’s unlock guidelines, it means that those wanting to travel into India from abroad or vice-versa will have to depend on the repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission, or the air bubble arrangements that India enters with other countries.

The government has stated that the resumption of regular international operations will depend on the nature of the Coronavirus — something that will decide India’s acceptability to other jurisdictions. Given that there is still a threat of transmission through international travel, regular flight operations are not being given a green light. With the government’s extension of the unlock guidelines, international flight operations have also remain suspended.

Currently, those wanting to travel internationally will have to depend on air bubble arrangements India enters into. As of now, India has entered air bubble or transport corridor arrangements with 19 countries. These are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine and the US. In addition, Vande Bharat flights to several countries are being operated. Industry sources have alluded that given the nature of the pandemic, it seems likely that regular commercial operations on international sectors may remain suspended till as late as March 2021.

30/10/20 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express

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