The Central Government had suspended flight operations on March 23, 2020, due to the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Later, under bilateral air bubble agreements with various countries, overseas flights became operational.
After nearly two years, India resumed international flight operations on Sunday. Due to the entry of the Covid-19 pandemic into the country, the Central government suspended flight operations on March 23, 2020.
In July 2020, international flights began under bilateral air bubble agreements with a number of countries. However, in the midst of a pandemic, the ban on regular international flight operations lasted nearly two years. Regular international flights operations have now resumed as of March 27.
According to the DGCA, 60 airlines from 40 countries have been given permission to operate 1,783 frequencies to and from India during the summer schedule. From March 27 to October 29, the summer schedule will be in effect.
For the summer schedule, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved a total of 1,466 international departures for six Indian airlines. The airlines will fly to 43 different destinations in 27 different countries. Moreover, a number of international airlines, including Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and LOT Polish, have announced plans to fly to and from India.
In the first week of April, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital, which is also the country’s largest airport, expects a significant increase in international flight departures. During the pre-Covid era, IGIA handled around 1.8 lakh passengers per day.
Emirates (which has the largest operations in India) will operate 170 flights per week among the foreign airlines. There will be 140 flights operated by Air Arabia.
United Airlines and American Airlines, both based in the United States, will operate 28 and 7 flights per week, respectively. European airlines, on the other hand, such as British Airways will operate 49 flights per week, Lufthansa will operate 32 flights, and Air France will operate 20 flights per week.
Sri Lanka Airlines will operate 128 weekly flights, Oman Air 115 weekly flights, Singapore Airlines 65 weekly flights, and Malaysia Airlines 30 weekly flights. Thai Airways and Thai Smile, both based in Thailand, will operate 36 and 21 flights per week, respectively.
The government has also changed the Covid guidelines for international flight operations, removing the requirement to keep three seats empty on international flights in case of medical emergencies.
Furthermore, the requirement that the crew have a complete PPE kit has been eliminated.