India has stabilized greatly after the sudden outbreak of COVID in 2020. Efforts made by everyone in controlling the spread of the contagious virus and maintaining personal hygiene to lower the chances of being infected with special measures of the government like lockdowns, special care units in hospitals, and early access to the free coronavirus vaccine have shown great results. February observed a great decrease in the fatality rate due to COVID and a sharp incline in the percentage recovery rate.
Impact of Omicron Variant on India’s Aviation Industry and Travel Restrictions
The Omicron variant was considered a bigger threat and the government had to enforce strict regulations, especially on the international arrivals in India. The ban on scheduled flights adversely affected the airline industry, with only special flights operating in nations having an air bubble arrangement with India. This arrangement allows Indians and foreigners who are looking to come to India from overseas to travel safely under guidelines issued by the GOI (Government of India). The government eased up the restrictions on international arrivals in February and also discarded the at-risk categorization for travelers coming from different nations.
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India went under a complete lockdown in the last week of March 2020 and the special flights with different nations started in late 2020. The government earlier decided to normalize international flights starting from Dec 15 2021 but the decision was rescinded due to the threat of the Omicron variant and the scheduled flights were once again suspended indefinitely.
Potential Resumption of International Flights in India
The government’s circular stating the ease of restrictions and guidelines for international arrivals in India came with a continued suspension of regular flights till 28th February 2022. The aviation ministry is under discussion with the home and health ministries to soon open the gates of international travel to and from India. The ministry states that it is currently observing the increased domestic flights, and if the results are beyond satisfactory, international flights can also soon run and operate.
Domestic airlines are nearing the 80% mark of their daily flights during the post-pandemic days. The good news is that, as more and more nations open up their borders, they are now accommodating the travel demands that were previously pushed back globally.
Voices on Reopening International Flights: Insights from Various Figures
Let’s have a look at some statements by different figures relating to the question of opening international flights from Mid-March or Early April. Scroll down to have a look at the different ideas and thoughts relating to the reopening of regular flights.
- An anonymous official source stated that they have sent a proposal to the health ministry regarding the opening of scheduled flights soon.
- The resumption of more flights will greatly affect and decrease flight fares. This will bring a positive change as many people are waiting for the fares to go down before they make their travel plans.
- As many countries are allowing international travelers with minimal restrictions, the positive decision of India on suspended flights will be beneficial to the nation in many ways.
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