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Regular international flights likely to resume from March 15, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

Regular international flights likely to resume from March 15
Regular international flights are likely to resume from March 15 and will follow the standard operating procedures effective at Indian airports for foreign arrivals and departure, government sources said on Monday.

Given the consistent decline in Covid cases, a decision on resuming scheduled international flights has almost been arrived at by the Civil Aviation Ministry following consultation with the Health Ministry, they said.

However, no official announcement has been made by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation so far.

“Regular International flights is likely to resume from March 15. The Guidelines for International Arrivals, which came into effect from February 14, will be followed at airports for the passengers of these flights,” an official source said.

In a statement, IATA has further urged the authorities to now restart scheduled international flights to and from India in place of the air travel bubbles that are currently in place. The association stated that while the resumption of scheduled flights was paused due to the Omicron variant wave, it is now time to move forward and normalise international air services. This, IATA feels, will support the recovery of the aviation and travel sectors, the economy as a whole, and satisfy the demand for travel

The ban on scheduled international passenger flights in India is in effect till February 28. Such flights have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Special passenger flights have been functioning between India and around 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements.

The Health Ministry has issued revised guidelines for international arrivals, with effect from February 14, doing away with the mandatory seven-day home quarantine and the need for them to undertake an RT-PCR test on the eighth day.

Apart from uploading a negative RT-PCR report, taken 72 hours before the journey, there is an option to upload certificates of the completion of the full primary Covid vaccination schedule provided from countries on a reciprocal basis.

Also, the demarcation of countries ‘at-risk‘ and other countries has been removed.

Accordingly, the need for giving samples on the port of arrival and waiting till the result is obtained from countries ‘at-risk’ has been dispensed with.

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