After a gap of two years, India at last has lifted the ban on scheduled international flights. These flights, suspended because of the Coronavirus pandemic, will be operational from March 27.
“After having recognized the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India from 27.03.2022, i.e. start of Summer Schedule 2022,” said the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Hailing the move, Ajay Prakash, President, TAFI, said, “It’s a huge relief that our government has finally decided to do away with the air bubbles and to open up the Indian skies to scheduled commercial aviation again. We hope that health requirements will also be tweaked adequately and that all airlines will now move swiftly to restore schedules and capacity.” He also said that in view of the anticipated surge in demand, TAFI has appealed to the airlines through the APJC to come forward and help the revival by agreeing to a 10-day payment cycle instead of the current weekly settlement. “We hope they will accede to this reasonable request,” said Prakash.
Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, said, “We appreciate the decision of all concerned government bodies, MoCA & MoT for a positive decision. All associations with their own strength have been collectively advocating for the resumption of commercial flights.” Mayal feels that the decision will soon bring normalcy to the tourism sector. “We have been promised of opening of e-visa soon & look forward to a normalcy of our lives & the sector to quickly recover by wooing the travellers & en-cashing on inbound & also plan for our Indian travellers to have ease of travel, lower costs & more choice, as all countries are now removing strict protocols & opening borders before the holiday season kicks off,” she said.
Ankush Nijhawan, Joint Managing Director, TBO TEK Limited, said, “The announcement to resume international passenger flights is a welcome move for domestic and international travellers who have been waiting for a long time to make travel plans. We are pleased that these measures will once again give a big boost to foreign tourism in the country.”
Subhash Goyal, President – Confederation of Tourism Professionals, also welcomes the move. “I would like to thank our Hon’ble Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Civil Aviation Secretary, Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Hon’ble Tourism Secretary,” he said.