India To Resume International Flights After Other Countries Ease Restrictions: Aviation Minister

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India will take a decision on resumption of international passenger flights as soon as countries ease restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Sunday. Countries like Japan and Singapore have put significant restrictions on the entry of foreigners amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“A decision to resume regular international operations will be taken as soon as countries ease restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. Destination countries have to be ready to allow incoming flights,” Puri said on Twitter. India resumed its domestic passenger flights on May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

“Most countries have less than 10 per cent international operations because they are allowing entry only to their own citizens & have placed restrictions on foreign nationals,” the minister stated. Many countries are allowing inbound flights from a few nations, but have placed restrictions like quarantine or isolation, he said.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India. However, special repatriation flights are being operated by Air India and other airlines to countries across the world under the Vande Bharat Mission.

On June 1, Puri said several factors like the lockdown in metro cities and the ban imposed by various countries on the entry of foreigners need to be addressed before resuming international passenger flights in India.

Airports in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have been allowed to handle a restricted number of daily domestic flights as these states do not want a huge influx of flyers amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

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