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India resumes regular international flights as covid cases drop
“After having recognised the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to or from India from March 27, 2022,” an official communique had said earlier. The summer schedule 2022 is effective from March 27, 2022 till October 29, 2022.

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NEW DELHI, March 27: India resumed international flights on Sunday after a gap of two years of suspension due to covid pandemic, since March 23, 2020.

The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi operated 89 international departures and 84 arrivals while Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International (CSMI) airport had 58 departures and 51 arrivals on Sunday, according to official sources.

As the incidence of covid has declined, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier this month issued revised guidelines lifting the curbs on air travellers and the airlines. According to the fresh guidelines, the PPE kit requirement for the crew members has also been removed.

Sixty foreign airlines of 40 countries have been given approval to operate 1,783 weekly departures, while Indian carriers will operate 1,466 departures every week. “A total of 1,466 departures (by Indian carriers ) per week have been approved to 43 destinations in 27 countries,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.

Among the foreign airlines, Emirates will operate 170 departures per week, Oman Air 115, Air Arabia 110, Qatar Airways 99, Gulf Air 82, Etihad Airways 80, Saudi Arabian Airlines 63 and Kuwait Airways 56 (all Gulf-based), Sri Lanka Airlines 128, Singapore Airlines 65, British Airways 49, Thai Airways 36, Lufthansa German 32, Malaysia Airlines 30, Japan Airlines 22, Air France 20, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 18 and Aeroflot Russian Airlines 6. The list also includes Air Arabia, Qantas and American Airline.

Among the Indian carriers IndiGo will operate 505 departures, followed by Air India 361, Air India Express 340, SpiceJet 130, GoAir (GoFirst) 74 and Vistara at 56 departures.

Summer Schedule 2022

The Summer Schedule 2022 is effective from March 27, 2022 till October 29, 2022.

“After having recognised the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to or from India from March 27, 2022,” an official communique had said on March 8. “The suspension of scheduled commercial international passenger services to or from India, thus, stands extended only up to 2359 hrs IST on March 26, 2022 and air bubble arrangements shall accordingly be extended to this extent only,” it added.

“After deliberation with stakeholders and keeping in view the decline in the covid-19 caseload, we have decided to resume international travel from March 27 onwards,” Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said.

During the two years of suspension of regular international passenger flights, special flights were being operated to and from 37 countries in country-to-country arrangements called air bubble agreements. India also operated flights under what has been called Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indians stranded abroad.

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