Domestic airline operations resumed in May 2020. However, international flights have operated only under the Vande Bharat mission and Air Bubble agreements
After months of waiting, India has finally begun flights to 49 cities under Air Bubble arrangements with 18 countries starting this month. According to the latest notification by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, special international flights can be operated by respective airlines under an air-bubble pact between two countries.
However, the schedule of these flights is available only till the end of this month, or 30 September, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the official notice here.
As per the official notice, India has decided the air-bubble pacts with at least 18 countries including the United Kingdom, Kenya, Bhutan, France, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. So, if any passenger is planning a visit abroad, they can check the list of cities through which India has approved the air bubble agreement.
Moreover, passengers are requested to book tickets via the Air India website, travel agents and Air India offices. Below is the list of international cities where passengers can travel in September: Canada-Toronto and Vancouver, Bangladesh-Dhaka, Afghanistan-Kabul, Bahrain-Bahrain, Germany-Frankfurt, Japan-Narita, Russia-Moscow, France-Paris, Sri Lanka-Colombo, UK-London and Birmingham, Nepal-Kathmandu, Kenya-Nairobi, Kuwait-Kuwait, UAE-Dubai and Abu Dhabi, USA-Chicago, Washington, Newark, and San Francisco, Maldives-Male and Oman-Muscat.
For the unversed, India resumed air travel with Bangladesh on 3 September as part of the Air-Bubble Agreement.
Amidst the pandemic, Indian airports and airlines have experienced huge financial loss worth Rs 22,400 crore in the financial year 2021. This was due to suspension of flight operations on 23 March due to the the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the ministry, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) also reported a loss in its revenue, from Rs 2,976.17 crore during April-June 2019 to approximately Rs 889 crore during April-June 2021.
Domestic airline operations resumed in May 2020. However, international flights have operated only under the Vande Bharat mission and Air Bubble agreements.