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Why is it possible that India may not resume commercial international flights? : Explained

In view of the growing scenario surrounding the Omicron form of Covid-19, India may not resume commercial international flights on December 15, as anticipated.

Why did the administration decide to postpone the December 15 plan?

“In view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new variants of concern,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement Wednesday, “the situation is being closely monitored in consultation with all stakeholders, and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services shall be notified in due course.”

What factors influenced your decision?

Following the news of the restart last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested government officials to reassess preparations for reducing foreign travel restrictions in light of fresh evidence during a review meeting on Covid19 readiness. Following that, on Sunday, a meeting chaired by the home secretary resolved that the decision on the effective date of the resumption of scheduled commercial foreign flights will be revisited in light of the changing global situation.

What was the first strategy?

Following a 21-month prohibition, the Ministry of Civil Aviation confirmed on Friday that international scheduled commercial flights will return on December 15. According to a senior DGCA official, this indicates that the December 15 deadline has been postponed for the time being. The restart would be measured, with a staggered reopening for nations considered “at-risk.” Europe, including the United Kingdom, as well as South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel, are among these countries. If India has an air bubble agreement, flights will restart at 75 percent capacity, as agreed in bilateral agreements, and at 50 percent capacity for those without an air bubble agreement. All flights to and from the remaining nations that aren’t in the ‘at-risk’ list were permitted to restart in full.

Is there any restriction on overseas travel imposed by other countries?

Yes, a number of nations, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and others, are prohibiting travel from south African countries, as well as from jurisdictions where the new variation has been found. Beginning Monday, visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi would be denied entry to the United States. Travelers from South Africa and its neighbouring nations have also been subjected to restrictions in Canada, the United Kingdom, and numerous EU countries. Some nations, such as Japan, have chosen to stop all foreign flights and have urged their airlines not to accept any advance reservations from overseas customers.

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