The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has announced that scheduled international flights to and from India will resume from December 15, 2021. The announcement regarding the resumption of international flights comes after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 23 of last year.
In the order released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it says, “The matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and it has been decided that scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India may be resumed from December 15, 2021.”
While the resumption of scheduled international flights starts from mid-December, special international passenger flights have been taking place to and from India since July of last year thanks to the government forming “Air Bubble” pacts with several countries.
Do note that this will not be applicable to 14 countries which are – UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, South Africa, Brazil, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Singapore. This is due to the rising cases of COVID-19 cases in these regions. However, special flights under the Air Bubble arrangement will continue.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoFHW) has also shared the list of countries, that have been identified as Countries at-risk, from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing.
1. Countries in Europe including The United Kingdom
2. South Africa
8. New Zealand
11. Hong Kong
Additionally, the MoFHW will categorise the other countries in three sections and will allow flight capacities accordingly. Those are –
– Countries enlisted as “AT RISK” and an air bubble has been formalised with the country: Can operate at 75% capacity.
– Countries enlisted as “AT RISK” and an air bubble has not been formalised with the country: Can operate at 50% capacity
– Countries not enlisted as “AT RISK”: Can operate at 100% capacity.
As for the seats under air bubble arrangement which have already been sold by the airlines, which
are in excess of the capacity entitlements under bilateral ASAs/traffic rights available with the
airlines will be allowed to be operated until December 14. Such airlines will restrict their operations
to capacity entitlements under bilateral rights available with effect from December 15.