Monday, March 14, 2022

3 out of 4 citizens in India don't want full-fledged resumption of international flights from March-end: Survey

New Delhi: Three out of four Indians don't want full-fledged resumption of international flights from March 27, as several countries are experiencing a major surge in COVID-19 cases led by BA.2.2 or other sub-lineages, showed a survey by Localcircles.

While 73% citizens surveyed are against India restarting full schedule commercial international flights, only 25 percent are in favour of the move. Currently, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Netherlands, France, Australia and several other countries are experiencing a surge in COVID cases. Hence people surveyed have suggested the government should restart flights only from/to those countries where test positivity rate is in low single-digit.

The survey received 12,618 responses from across India.

About 25% of citizens said, “Start commercial international flights from all countries as planned.” About 41% said only start commercial international flights from countries that have “TPR of less than 5%”, and 14% said “TPR of less than 2%”. 18% of citizens said “Postpone restarting of all commercial international flights for now” while 2% did not have an opinion, according to the survey.

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, scheduled international flight services were suspended on March 23, 2020. However, special international flights have been operating between India and about 35 other countries since July 2020 under air bubble.

Last week, the government announced the resumption of scheduled commercial international flights by March 27 and ending the bubble flight arrangements it has with several countries. Covid cases have declined to less than 5,000 a day in India while the test positivity rate has fallen to less than 0.5%.

"After having recognized the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India from 27.03.2022, i.e. start of Summer Schedule 2022," read a statement from the Civil Aviation Ministry.

14/03/22 Sunainaa Chadha/Times of India

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