India reopens to international flights

‘Today is a very important day,’ Civil Aviation Minister

Helen Coffey
Monday 28 March 2022 09:28 BST
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IndiGo will have the largest number of international flights from India
IndiGo will have the largest number of international flights from India (Getty Images)

India has finally lifted its international flight ban two years after services were suspended due to the pandemic.

As of Sunday 27 March, regular operations have resumed.

Some 60 airlines from 40 different countries have been permitted to operate up to 1,783 weekly flights to and from India during the summer season, which runs until 29 October.

Meanwhile, six Indian airlines have been given the go ahead by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate up to 1,466 weekly international departures.

It brings the total to 3,249 potential flights to/from India each week during the season. This number represents the most flights airlines have been granted permission to operate – whether carriers use them all will depend on other factors such as consumer demand.

“Today is a very important day,” said union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

“All regular international flights services resumed with full capacity from today.

“During the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic, the international flights were being operated under the air bubble arrangements.”

He added that, in addition to international routes, 135 new domestic flights had been launched yesterday.

IndiGo will have the highest number of permitted international departures per week when schedules ramp up, with 505, followed by Air India at 361.

In response to the reopening, Emirates has said it will re-introduce pre-pandemic flight frequencies to its destinations in India from 1 April. The airline will be operating 170 weekly flights to nine cities in the country, including Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

“Sixty foreign airlines of 40 countries have been allowed to operate 1,783 weekly flights to and from India. The airlines are from countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, the US, Germany, Singapore, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Russia, UAE, Australia, Qatar, Britain, Canada and Egypt,” a senior DGCA official said.

China was not included on the list.

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