For the past two years, Indians are facing some or other sort of inconvenience due to the international flight ban. But now, there is good news for all. The Indian government has finally decided to lift the ban and it will come under effect from the 27th of March.
The final announcement was made by the DGCA as the authority shared their decision of lifting the restrictions on social media. As of now, India is operating under limited air travel conditions, working with bubble agreements for 40 countries.
When the uplifting of the ban will come into effect, the bubble agreement scenarios can finally be terminated. This has come as good news for people who are always looking for cheap flights from Canada to India or USA to India flights.
Why did it got delayed?
Since the beginning of the year, there have been speculations about the resumption of flight. At first, the relaxation was supposed to come into effect on 31st March, which then got postponed to `5th Feb and then to 28thFeb. The main reason behind the delay was the cautious objection from the health ministry of India.
Since the pandemic is under control now, and cases are declining, we can witness some real resumption after the final nod given by the health department of India. The DGCA has made the decision after the permission of the health ministry to operate flights on regular basis.
Pas international flight bans in India
India imposed the first airline ban for all scheduled intentional flights on the 23rd of March, 2020. Even during that time, flights did continue but under a certain specific scenario. There were bilateral agreements of air bubbles used that restricted the passengers to come into contact with others during travel.
The bubble also ensured that only the authorized airline that comes under the agreement is being used to and from the destination decided in the bubble.
During those times, only a few people could avail of emergency airline travel after submitting an application to the airline ministry and going through a tedious documentation process. Also, there were very strict rules and guidelines to be followed.
- Mandate Covid test, taken at least 24 hours before travel
- Proper medical and health checkup records
- On-site screening and airport screening
- Vaccination certificates
- Isolation mandates
- Compulsory masks and sanitary guidelines
- Home quarantine guidelines
As time progressed, there were some relaxations in the guidelines. But we didn’t get to witness an open international flight travel from the government.
However, the relaxations did give travelers some home. The general updated guidelines include:
- Negative test report has taken 72 hours before traveling
- Uplifting of hospital quarantine mandate
- Reduced time for home isolation
- Less strict screening during check-ins and check-outs
- Relaxation in screening and diagnosis
The international flights observed more relaxation in the year 2022. As we defied the threat of the third wave of the new version of the Covid, named Omicron, things became better.
There are far more relaxed guidelines. And at that very point, it was expected that the government would uplift the ban completely. But suddenly, cases started rising in January 2022 to some extent.
However, the threat was nullified with proper vaccination, mass awareness, large-scale screenings, educational norms, and safety schedules imposed by the government.
And now, as we near the end of March, we can finally see airlines getting back to operation as per their normal routines and schedules.
Read more: A Complete Guide to the Restricted Items on Air India and General Queries
Official statement issued
In a statement recently, the ministry of civil aviation stated that they have witnessed the increasing number of vaccination drifts in the entire nation.
The officials hinted that they have decided after getting consultation from the global stakeholders. The reason for the uplifting of the ban includes a decline in cases and a rise in domestic travel.
The official words say “After having recognized the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with stakeholders, the government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India from 27.03.2022, i.e., the start of the summer schedule 2022,”
The ministry further indicated that the relaxation should not be taken as a gateway to break the rules and regulations of social distancing.
Strict rules still follow such as:
- Wearing masks during travel
- Sanitization on various points
- Checking of ArogyaSetu App
- Vaccination certificate checks
- Temperature screening
- Social distancing
- Proper cleaning and sanitization of flights
The authorities also indicated that the travelers will have to strictly adhere to the particular guidelines of the country they are traveling to. There is no relaxation in such protocols and it is only after following the guidelines, you can travel internationally.
Another official statement further confirmed the news. The civil aviationministerJyotiradityaScindia lately tweeted about the ban elimination. The minister hinted how the airline industry is facing huge losses due to travel bans and the news can help the industry get on the growth period again.
The official statement by the civil aviation minister says “After deliberation with all stakeholders &keeping in view the decline in the #COVID19 caseload, we have decided to resume international travel from Mar 27 onwards. Air bubble arrangements will also stand revoked thereafter. With this step, I’m confident the sector will reach new heights!”
Read more: Indian airport quarantine rules after Omicorn Covid 19
Aviation is one of the largest industries in India. With this good news, people can finally travel to and from India, to complete their chores, in a normal manner.
For people who are always looking to book cheap flights to India, this is a magical opportunity as ticket fares will surely drop in the coming days. Also with the summer season coming up, one can expect a huge rush of international air travel.
So, you may see discounts and offers on the booking sites. But you will also see congestion in ticket booking. So plan ahead and choose the best booking platform that offers the cheapest flight tickets.