International scheduled commercial flights to and from India will resume March 27 onward after a 25-month ban, an order from the Ministry of Civil Aviation said Tuesday.
The move will allow airlines across the world, which were only operating international flights to India under air bubble arrangement, to operate capacity as per the original bilateral agreements, and could bring down fares on foreign routes ahead of the summer travel season.
“After having recognized 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/from India from 27.03.2022, i.e. start of Summer Schedule 2022,” an official statement said.
An earlier plan of resuming international scheduled commercial flights from December 15, 2021 was shelved by the government following the emergence of the Omicron variant.
“The international operations shall be subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare guidelines for international travel dated 10.02.2022 and as amended from time to time,” the statement added.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020. However, special passenger flights have been operating between India and approximately 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with them.
On February 28, aviation regulator DGCA had extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights in the country “till further orders”. On January 19, the suspension was extended till February 28.