The minister made the remarks during Question Hour after the Upper House returned from a month-long break.
After a two-year hiatus, India restored full service on all international passenger flights after the government banned them for a week starting March 23, 2020.
Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the restriction for almost two years. Despite this, India has resumed special international flights between India and the other 35 nations (roughly) covered by the air bubble from July 2020.
On March 27, scheduled international passenger flights will resume, enforced two years after a restriction to prevent Covid-19 infections. In the middle of a raging epidemic, the government had banned all foreign scheduled flights for a week beginning March 23 but extended it to almost two years. The civil aviation ministry said that such flights would restart, with regular schedules for the preceding two years.
The government had intended to begin international flights on March 15. Still, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which prompted rescue flights to transport trapped Indians back to India, caused the procedure.
According to a press statement, the Indian government has agreed to resume commercial lending international passenger jets from India on March 27 “after recognizing the enhanced vaccination coverage worldwide and collaborating with stakeholders.”
Airlines have good news since resuming international flights allows them to deploy aircraft on longer routes, increasing asset utilization. They will also be able to increase their income per seat since foreign flights have higher rates than local ones.
Because of more excellent vaccination coverage throughout the globe, the Indian government has decided to restart scheduled commercial foreign flights on March 27.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation statement, it would prolong the suspension of scheduled commercial international passenger flights to and from India until 2359 hours IST on March 26, 2022. It will extend air bubble arrangements only to that extent.
Regular foreign flights have resumed two years after the DGCA suspended them because of the Covid-19 epidemic. On February 28, the prohibition on planned foreign passenger flights was extended “until further instructions.”
“All regular foreign flights will run at full capacity by March 27,” Scindia stated.
All foreign scheduled flights were suspended for a week commencing March 23, 2020. The restriction lasted almost two years during a pandemic.
Since July 2020, unique air bubble flights have run between India and 35 different nations.
The Russian-Ukrainian crisis needed rescue aircraft to bring back trapped Indians in Ukraine, delaying the procedure.
Airlines are ecstatic
Resuming international flights will be a massive relief for aviation, tourism, and hospitality businesses. It implies airlines will be able to fly their planes on longer itineraries, resulting in better asset utilization. They’ll also make more money per seat since overseas flights are more expensive than local flights.
Previous plans had to due to Russia-Ukraine tensions
The Indian government planned to resume foreign passenger flights on March 15, but Russia and Ukraine were at war. Because humanitarian planes transport trapped Indians back to India.
An industry-needed boost comes from India’s intention to resume regular international flights on March 27, 2022. Air bubble flights, especially between the US and India, are twice as costly as regular international flights. During the epidemic, tourists’ desire for nonstop air bubble flights over one-stop flights increased. Concerns about unexpected rules while transit in a third nation or harsher post-arrival norms in India drained their wallets. The resumption of regular passenger flights will gradually return things to their pre-pandemic state.
In 2022, new routes from the United States to India will be available
With the return of everyday international aviation travel to India, United and American Airlines may now start long-awaited nonstop flights from the US to Bangalore. Cancelled flights between San Francisco and Boston due to low demand, limited air bubble corridor flights, and other pandemic-related restrictions. Once international passenger flight operations resume at pre-pandemic levels on March 27, 2022, the SFO and Seattle routes will begin in May and October, respectively.
Service frequency and seat availability
The Indian government approved 100% resumption of international civil flights, and foreign airlines no longer provide weekly services to India. Emirates flights to India to be pre-pandemic levels of frequency. Before the pandemic, Emirates, one of India’s top international airlines, had 172 weekly flights to the US through Dubai. Air Canada has recently announced its spring schedule, including 21 weekly return flights from Canada to Delhi.
After March 27, 2022, Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines will triple their flights to Delhi and Mumbai. Lufthansa will increase the weekly frequency in Bangalore and Chennai as well. Delta, Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic have undertaken limited-capacity international flights to India. These four partner airlines are attempting to resume their pre-pandemic India schedule.
Turkish Airlines will resume flight service to India in the days following March 27, 2022. Because the Indian government has prolonged the ban of routine foreign travel, both inbound and outbound, Turkish Airlines has repeatedly cancelled its reservations for India. In addition to Qatar Airways and Emirates, Turkish Airlines links Ahmedabad to 12 US locations.
What you need to know about India’s flying resumption
- Foreign flight capacity limits will be lifted on March 27 when several stakeholders, including the civil aviation ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), finalize the summer timetable for international flights in 2022.
- The government’s decision to resume regular foreign flights after almost two years would significantly relieve domestic airlines, whose operating expenses have risen owing to rising oil prices.
- Passengers would benefit from the decision since airlines will likely add additional flights to their networks, somewhat offsetting some of the sector’s disadvantages, such as rising oil costs and limited airspace due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
- Beginning March 23, 2020, the government has imposed a week-long ban on all overseas scheduled flights. In the middle of a raging epidemic, the prohibition lasted almost two years.
- However, under the air bubble, special international flights have been flying between India and roughly 35 other countries from July 2020.
- IndiGo (Interglobe Aviation Ltd), India’s biggest domestic airline, which carries roughly one out of every two passengers, will strive to grow its international footprint in competition from the Tata group’s Air India and Vistara, among others.
- IndiGo plans to fly mid-haul flights to Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Far East, and other regions in the coming months, with a fleet of roughly 283 aircraft.
- Due to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the plan
The government had intended to begin international flights on March 15. Still, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which prompted rescue flights to transport trapped Indians back to India, caused the procedure. “The government of India has decided to restart scheduled commercial international passenger flights to/from India from March 27,” according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, “after having recognized the enhanced vaccine coverage worldwide and in collaboration with stakeholders.”
International airfares are unlikely to fall shortly
“However, there are conflicting reports about this,” he noted. According to some forecasts, international airfares would decrease by 30-40% when capacity and routes to pre-pandemic levels. According to some estimates, the resumption of scheduled international flights would have minimal effect on airfares in the aftermath of the geopolitical crisis, which has already driven up the cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to an all-time high. Jet fuel accounts for roughly 40% of an airline’s operational costs. “If ATF costs rise in response to rising crude oil prices, it will be impossible to reduce airfares by 40-30%.”
For Indian passengers, there are no airline-specific restrictions
During the epidemic, Indian passport holders to airline-specific boarding restrictions in India for a significant time. British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic, bound by a bilateral air bubble agreement with India, prohibited Indian passport holders from boarding aircraft in India since they were bound for destinations outside of Europe. Only US residents and their wives were permitted to travel from Europe to the United States. According to tourists with Indian passports, most European airlines, except for British Airways, have lately eased the prohibition.