India resumed the routine international flights on Sunday after a two-year halt that was put in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aviation industry will seek to go back to its pre-pandemic operations as nearly all restrictions have been lifted.
International flights continued to operate on and off under special schemes and restrictions through the pandemic. Regular international travel was given a go-ahead on March 26, 2022.
How will travel change now that India is resuming its international flights?
-A lot more flights are now expected to be available as India’s Summer Schedule for 2022 has permitted 60 international airlines from 40 countries to operate 1783 flights in and out of the country.
-Airlines would now be allowed to operate the flights at a 100% capacity. The capacity was previously capped in accordance with the COVID-19 norms set by India’s aviation ministry.
-Scrapping a previous requirement, airlines will no longer be compelled to keep at least three seats vacant in the aircraft for medical emergencies, according to media reports citing the Indian government.
-Passengers may be required to go through a pat-down search by security officials when needed, according to the new rules. A pat-down search was previously restricted to ensure social distancing and avoid contact.
-Cabin crew members on international flights would no longer be required to wear Personal protective equipment (PPE) while in the aircraft, according to the new announcement by the ministry of civil aviation. Wearing face masks would still be mandatory.
-“Airlines may carry a few additional PPE protective gears, sanitiser and N-95 masks, to handle any respiratory infections related to cases on air, for passengers as well as the crew”, the statement from the ministry of civil aviation read, according to media reports.