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DGCA extends ban on international flights till July 15

The civil aviation ministry also said that international scheduled flights may be allowed on a case-to-case basis

Sabrangindia 29 Jun 2020

Covid 19Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

In light of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a statement saying that international commercial passenger services to/from India shall remain suspended till July 15, 2020, even though international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis. The international flight ban had come into effect in India on March 22, just days before the first Covid-19 lockdown was announced in the country.

In another announcement, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), allowed airlines to operate upto 45 percent of their pre-lockdown scheduled capacity on domestic routes, compared with 30-35 percent earlier, The Indian Express reported.

On June 20, Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister, had announced that the government would reconsider starting regular international flights when domestic traffic reaches 50-60 percent.

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “Domestic airlines ferried 18 lakh passengers in one month. Over 700 flights a day are operating. These numbers are low on a year-on-year basis. We will rework, renew and retune our strategies for the growth of the sector as we go along,” The Indian Express reported.

Last week, the United States governments restricted charter flights from India, part of the Vande Bharat mission, alleging India had engaged in “unfair and discriminatory practices” by violating a treaty governing aviation between the two countries, The Indian Express had reported.

The US Transportation Department alleged that Air India Ltd has been making flights to repatriate those citizens who were stuck in the US due to the travel restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and selling tickets to the public. The department said this created a “competitive disadvantage for US carriers” as US airlines have been prohibited from flying to India amid the pandemic.

In response, India had said, “We have received requests from concerned authorities in several countries including US, France, Germany among others requesting that their air carriers be allowed to participate in transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under Vande Bharat Mission.”

Hurdles in resuming international flight operations

While there is a high demand for international flights, with many Indians still being stranded abroad, the biggest hurdle that could come in the way of the resumption of international flights is India’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, cases in India have crossed 5 lakhs and there are over 2 lakh active cases in the country.

The main hubs of travel, Maharashtra ( 164,626 total cases), Delhi ( 83,077 total cases)and Gujarat (31,397 total cases) are still under a firm grip of the pandemic. To protect their people from the infection, some countries are looking at a filtered border approach by keeping out some nations where governments have been able to effectively contain the virus, reported India.com. If India resumes such operations, the situation could get more precarious depending on the countries it starts operations for, especially the US which has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world.

Related:

US accuses India of unfair and discriminatory practices, restricts Vande Bharat charter flights
Will India lift the incoming flight ban to let visa overstayers fly back from the US?

 

DGCA extends ban on international flights till July 15

The civil aviation ministry also said that international scheduled flights may be allowed on a case-to-case basis

Covid 19Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

In light of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a statement saying that international commercial passenger services to/from India shall remain suspended till July 15, 2020, even though international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis. The international flight ban had come into effect in India on March 22, just days before the first Covid-19 lockdown was announced in the country.

In another announcement, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), allowed airlines to operate upto 45 percent of their pre-lockdown scheduled capacity on domestic routes, compared with 30-35 percent earlier, The Indian Express reported.

On June 20, Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister, had announced that the government would reconsider starting regular international flights when domestic traffic reaches 50-60 percent.

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “Domestic airlines ferried 18 lakh passengers in one month. Over 700 flights a day are operating. These numbers are low on a year-on-year basis. We will rework, renew and retune our strategies for the growth of the sector as we go along,” The Indian Express reported.

Last week, the United States governments restricted charter flights from India, part of the Vande Bharat mission, alleging India had engaged in “unfair and discriminatory practices” by violating a treaty governing aviation between the two countries, The Indian Express had reported.

The US Transportation Department alleged that Air India Ltd has been making flights to repatriate those citizens who were stuck in the US due to the travel restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and selling tickets to the public. The department said this created a “competitive disadvantage for US carriers” as US airlines have been prohibited from flying to India amid the pandemic.

In response, India had said, “We have received requests from concerned authorities in several countries including US, France, Germany among others requesting that their air carriers be allowed to participate in transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under Vande Bharat Mission.”

Hurdles in resuming international flight operations

While there is a high demand for international flights, with many Indians still being stranded abroad, the biggest hurdle that could come in the way of the resumption of international flights is India’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, cases in India have crossed 5 lakhs and there are over 2 lakh active cases in the country.

The main hubs of travel, Maharashtra ( 164,626 total cases), Delhi ( 83,077 total cases)and Gujarat (31,397 total cases) are still under a firm grip of the pandemic. To protect their people from the infection, some countries are looking at a filtered border approach by keeping out some nations where governments have been able to effectively contain the virus, reported India.com. If India resumes such operations, the situation could get more precarious depending on the countries it starts operations for, especially the US which has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world.

Related:

US accuses India of unfair and discriminatory practices, restricts Vande Bharat charter flights
Will India lift the incoming flight ban to let visa overstayers fly back from the US?

 

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