India will resume scheduled international flights, which have remained suspended due to the Covid pandemic, from 15 December, the country’s Aviation Ministry announced on Friday.
The ministry, in a statement, said the matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“The matter has been reviewed and the competent authority has decided to resume the scheduled commercial international passenger services toffrom India with effect from 15 December, 2021. Accordingly, the scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India shall remain suspended till 23:59 hours IST of 14″ December, 2021.”, a Director General of Civil Aviation circular released on Friday said.
“Resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services with effect from 15 December, 2021 would imply reversion to bilaterally agreed capacity entitlements and termination of air bubble arrangements. However, due to prevailing Covid-19 situation, the capacity entitlements shall be as per the category of countries based on enlistment of countries as “at-risk” from time to time by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW),” the DGCA announcement said, laying out the criteria.
According to the announcement, if a country has been identified to be “at-risk” of Covid-19 and has an air bubble agreement with India, then “75 per cent of pre-COVID scheduled international flight operations of Indian or foreign carrier whichever is higher or a minimum of seven frequencies per week subject to availability of entitlements under bilateral agreements will be permitted”.
For countries that have been identified to be “at-risk” of Covid-19 and do not have an air-bubble agreement with India, then only “50 per cent of bilateral capacity entitlements or 50 per cent of pre-COVID operations of Indian or foreign carrier, whichever is higher”, will be permitted.
As per air bubble agreement between the two nations, airlines of both countries can operate special flights between their territories with certain restrictions.