Regular international flights are due to resume on Sunday after a two-year break caused by the coronavirus crisis, with airline companies preparing for normal foreign operations.
The aviation industry is slowly returning to regularity after being destroyed by the pandemic, and the restart of routine international flights is expected to bring a boost to the sector.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the country's capital, which is also the country's most popular airport, is expecting a considerable increase in international flight departures in the first week of April following the restoration of regular overseas operations.
While Indian operators are ready for continuous and normal international flights, many foreign airlines, like Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and LOT Polish, have announced plans for services to and from India.
According to the DGCA, 60 airlines from 40 countries will fly 1,783 frequencies to and from India during the summer schedule. From March 27, 2022, through October 29, 2022, the summer schedule will be in effect.
Six Indian airlines have been allowed a total of 1,466 overseas departures per week for the summer schedule. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, they would fly to 43 locations in 27 countries.
International passenger flights have been stopped since March 23, 2020, as a result of the pandemic, but they will resume on Sunday, March 27, 2022.
International flights are operated via bilateral air bubble agreements with a wide range of countries.
The civil aviation ministry said on March 8, 2022, that normal international flights would resume on March 27, 2022, despite a drop in coronavirus infections.
The government has also amended the COVID regulations for international aircraft operations, removing the requirement to leave three seats empty on foreign flights for medical emergency cases.
Furthermore, the need for the crew to have a full PPE outfit has been removed.
IndiGo Chief Commercial Officer Willy Boulter said in a statement on Saturday that the airline is eager to resume overseas operations at pre-COVID levels, but that this will be subject to considerations such as individual nations' arrival criteria.
"As flying in any of the Airplane from one place to another becomes more available and accessible, we certainly want to create routes and explore new destinations in the coming future, so we can expand the capability of our existing airline lines, and give better service, so it becomes easier for citizens." Reaching economies of scale in such a dynamic market, when ATF and other fixed expenses are continually increasing, becomes "difficult," he says.
IndiGo is India's largest airline.
A DIAL official said on Friday that after the resumption of commercial operations, Southeast Asia and Europe are likely to be the main drivers of continued international passenger growth.
IGIA's operator, DIAL, aims to connect to more than 60 foreign destinations once regular international flights restart.
IGIA is the country's largest airport, handling around 1.8 million people per day prior to the implementation of COVID-19.
The number of international air traffic movements (ATMs) is also expected to rise from 165 per day to 300 per day in summer 2022, according to the representative.
According to the representative, once regular overseas flights resume, the total weekly departures of foreign flights are expected to increase by 66 percent in the first week of April.
This is in comparison to the flights that took place during the winter of 2021 under bilateral air bubble agreements.
Emirates announced on Friday that, beginning April 1, 2022, it will reintroduce pre-pandemic service frequencies across all domestic destinations.
Prior to March 2020, when India discontinued scheduled international services, Emirates operated 170 weekly flights to nine locations, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.
On Friday, Sri Lankan Airlines said that it would begin operating up to 88 weekly flights to India to match the pre-COVID flight schedule. The airline serves nine cities, which also include states like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, and Chennai.
Virgin Atlantic, the British airline, has announced that it would begin a second daily route between Delhi and London on June 1, 2022. Virgin Atlantic will operate three daily flights from India, in addition to the existing service from Mumbai, it was announced on Friday.
American Airlines is pleased to offer daily service between New York (JFK) and New Delhi (DEL). Rhett Workman, American Airlines' Managing Director-Europe, Middle East, and Asia Operations, said in a statement on Friday.
LOT Polish Airlines, based in Poland, said on Thursday that it will begin flights to Mumbai on May 31, 2022, and restore operations to Delhi on March 29, 2022.
On March 8, 2022, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia stated, "While discussing the return of regular foreign operations," "With the help of these ideas, I am hopeful that the aviation/airplane sector can reach the next level and achieve its main objectives."
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