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Aviation India: Updated Guidelines to be rolled out soon

Aviation India: Updated Guidelines to be rolled out soon

The ministry of Civil Aviation will soon announce the dates for resuming the international schedule. Here are all the updates.

The 2020 pandemic, COVID-19 impacted one and all and the Indian aviation industry was no exception. As the number of cases was increasing every minute, the flights were kept to a halt. And now that the cases are dropping globally, the Ministery of Civil Aviation will soon resume international flights.

As of now, international air travel has been restricted till January 31. However, some flights were being kept operational under Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral “air bubble”  arrangement since July.

India has signed air bubble pacts with countries including the UK, the US, the UAE, Bhutan, France, and Kenya. This bilateral arrangement (air bubble pact) allows two countries to operate flights between their territories on agreed terms and conditions.

The ministry of Civil Aviation in consultation with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is likely to hold a meeting to decide further on flight operations. More to this, the new regulations will be announced after the assessment of the current situation. The ministry will also consider the active number of coronavirus cases and the decline in past cases while deciding upon the new terms and conditions.

Earlier the Aviation Ministry put a ban on air flights from India to Britain considering the spread of new coronavirus strain. However, regular flight services with limited capacity were briefly resumed in December last year but were ceased again in the wake of the new strain.

Nearly 30 countries suspended their air travel with the UK, to keep their territories safe from the new Coronavirus strain. It is noted that the new COVID-19 strain was reported among countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, and Singapore.

More updates under a glance

  • The authorities are likely to announce guidelines for foreign tourists coming to India.

This is also likely to introduce a standard procedure for the travellers.

  • The tourists coming to India may be required to provide a fixed itinerary (all the bookings, travel, and accommodation details) in addition to following the health guidelines.
  • These health guidelines may require travellers to provide proof of vaccination or to submit COVID-19 negative test reports in addition to downloading the Aarogya Setu app.
  • International scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the authorities on a case-to-case basis.

These restrictions are not supposed to apply to international all-cargo operations as mentioned in the circular by the aviation ministry.

In contradiction to the restriction to international flights, the domestic flight operations in India were resumed last year with certain rules and regulations.

Besides India, Russia has also decided to lift the travel ban for India and other countries including Finland, Qatar, and Vietnam. It is noted that Russia has reported less than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases every day since November.

On a more detailed note, following announcements were also being made by Indian authorities:

  • Indian Aviation Ministry had confirmed that the flights between India and the UK were resumed by January 2021.  
  • India and the UK will operate 15 flights per week that makes it a total of 30 weekly flights to and from metro cities.
  • These flights are made operational from four metro cities i.e. Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

Among these announcements, Air India has also announced that it will start its first ever non-stop flight between Bangaluru and San Francisco in January. Currently Air India operates flights on a non-stop basis from Delhi to Newyork, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago as well as from Mumbai to Newark.

India and South Korea are also in continuous talks in order to start air bubble between both countries. This will allow air operation between these two nations with a limited number of people to travel from one destination to another.

Some major talks may also be held on new regulations for Indian e visa. More details on E visa  India will only be known after any official announcement will be made.

In the wake of coronavirus and the new deadly strain, almost all the countries across the world revoked their air travel last year. Now that the cases are decreasing and the vaccine is on its way many developed and developing countries have carefully and with utmost precaution have started their flights.

The passengers on boarding planes are likely to follow all the rules being prescribed by state and aviation authorities.

From the financial point of view, the aviation sector has received a major loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. The national and global economies have also come to a new low with services shutting down due to COVID-19. While the operations have now been started and people are becoming aware of the situation, the aviation industry is likely to become fully operational in a few month’s time.

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