The government of India has allowed the resumption of regular international flights from December 15, nearly 21 months after suspending it on March 23 last year.
However, keeping in mind the rising Covid-19 cases in a few countries, the government has adopted a cautious approach. As per the announcement, Covid high-risk countries will see a “calibrated resumption of operations”, ranging from 75% to 50% of pre-Covid levels.
Currently, the health ministry’s list of at-risk countries includes: Those in Europe including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. The updated list can be found here.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order on resumption of regular flights has placed countries in three different categories for a graded return to normalcy:
a. Countries not categorised as being at risk: Flights can be restored 100% by Indian and carriers of these countries as per air service agreements (ASA). This includes over 90 countries from where fully vaccinated with approved jabs and Covid negative passengers can fly in quarantine free to India.
b. At risk countries with whom India has an air bubble: 75% flights can resume as per ASA can be resumed, subject to a minimum of a daily service. These include Germany, France, Netherland, UK, Bangladesh, Singapore and Mauritius.
c. At risk countries with which India does not have an air bubble: 50% flights can resume as per ASA with these countries. These include China, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, Switzerland, Brazil and South Africa.