Monday, March 14, 2022

Air India plans to start Mumbai-Moscow direct flight too

New Delhi: Air India — the only airline with direct flights between India and Russia at the moment with a twice weekly Delhi-Moscow — is planning to start flights from Mumbai too. Russian carrier Aeroflot, which had twice-weekly Delhi-Moscow, has suspended all international flights possibly over fears that its aircraft may be repossessed in foreign lands by lessors who are mostly European. Given the significant demand of travel due to Russians stranded abroad, in India’s in case Goa, and regular business travel, AI is looking at a twice-weekly Mumbai-Moscow flight, said people in the know.

Some other Indian carriers are learnt to have toyed with the idea of starting flights to Moscow and they are yet to take a final call. While India and Russia have an air bubble agreement, India will from March 27, 2022, resume scheduled international flights to and from countries as per pre-pandemic bilateral agreements.

The final international schedule for this summer, that kicks off on March 27, will be known in coming days as both Indian and foreign airlines file the same with the DGCA. A senior official of an Indian airline said: “While most international destinations will again be connected to India, as of now there is still lack of clarity for flights to China, Oman, Bangladesh and Nepal as those countries are yet to relax their conditions for international arrivals. Other countries have done so. India does not ask for pre-departure RT-PCR report from arrivals who have been vaccinated in 89 countries and regions.

14/03/22 saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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