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March 27: India expected to resume International passenger flight schedules

Due to the massive relaxation of COVID curbs, international passenger flight operations will resume on March 27—over two years after being suspended over the coronavirus pandemic. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) reported today that vaccination coverage has been maximized internationally. The suspension was last extended on February 28th, this year.


In India, departure and arrivals were halted on March 23, 2020, in an effort to stop the fast transmission of the new coronavirus variant.


However, special foreign flights hit the sky as part of the organization's massive rehabilitation effort, the Vande Bharat Mission, which began in May 2020. As part of diplomatic "air bubble" agreements with certain nations commenced in July 2020.


India formed air bubble pacts with around 32 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Bhutan, Kenya, and France.


"After recognizing greater vaccination coverage throughout the world and consulting with constituents, the Government of India has decided to restart scheduled commercial international air services to and from India commencing on March 27, 2022, i.e., the start of Summer Schedule 2022," India's aviation regulator, DGCA, said in a statement.


"The restrictions on scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India are therefore prolonged until 23:59 hours IST on 26.03.2022, and air bubble regulations should likewise be completely extended to this extent," it stated.


"International operations should be strictly governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare requirements for international travel of 10.02.2022, as originally enacted."


 


Earlier, the DGCA had announced the resumption of international flights from December 15, 2021. But with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus triggering a global alarm, the regulator extended the ban till January 31, 2022, when it was further extended.


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