In March 2020, it became apparent that international flights in India will not operate anytime soon. Since then, Air India has been operating repatriation flights, and the Government of India has stitched up Air Bubbles with various countries. Non-stop flights are only permitted to these countries at the moment that has signed up Air Bubbles with India, and we have about 35 of these air bubbles.
India had planned to resume scheduled operations on December 15, 2021, but declared that they will “review” their decision in light of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus surfacing, and basically postponing the reopening of international commercial aviation. The review is complete, and the Government of India had come to a decision to extend the ban on international aviation opening up till February 28, 2022.
International Flight India Ban
The DGCA has now put up a notification further extending the ban till further notice. The Air Bubble flights are excluded from this notification.
This is terrible news for customers, who might have looked forward to coming back to India after two years, with fares having already skyrocketed due to the paucity of flights for a while.
However, some people tell me that India is almost at the cusp of removing the ban, and hence the date is left open-ended. Most probably, with the Summer Schedule 2022, which will kick off on March 27, 2022, the normal scheduled operations will resume.
India has once again extended its air travel ban. This means regular commercial air travel is off limits till further intervention. I hope this time around this is the final timeline to reopening of operations and not just another extension.
What do you make of this International Flight India ban?