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International flight ops expected to return to normal by year-end: Civil Aviation Secy

International flight ops expected to return to normal by year-end: Civil Aviation Secy

Currently, India has formed air-bubble pacts with around 28 countries.

Scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remain suspended since March last year amid the coronavirus pandemic Scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remain suspended since March last year amid the coronavirus pandemic

India may resume scheduled international flight operations "very soon" and is expected by end of this year, said Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal, news agency PTI reported. The news comes in the backdrop of over a year's ban imposed by the Centre on regular international flights in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Currently, India has formed air-bubble pacts with around 28 countries, including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air-bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories with specific restrictions.

Scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remain suspended since March last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the suspension on scheduled international flights is till November 30.

ivil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had also recently said that the government is keen to resume normal international travel operations but in a safe environment.

Earlier this month, India and Singapore agreed to resume commercial flights. The Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme between the countries will allow quarantine-free travel. Six flights from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai are scheduled to resume from November 29.

Travellers looking to enter Singapore from November 29 to January 21, 2022, can apply once the VTP window opens. However, those who are planning to go to Singapore after December 1 have been urged to apply after November 24.

On the other hand, domestic air passenger traffic has seen an uptick, almost reaching pre-Covid levels. Domestic air passenger traffic saw a 27.15% growth last month during the festive season last month following a decline in covid cases that gave confidence to more people to travel by air. 

Around 8.99 million passengers took to the skies in October, compared to 7.07 million in September, according to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).