In a recent announcement, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that all regular international flights will be further suspended until January 31, 2022. The government had earlier announced that it would restart international flights from December 15, 2021. Passenger demand for international travel was increasing, and air bubble agreements were only hindering the growth prospects for the airlines and the travel and tourism sector across the country.
Air Bubble Agreements to Continue, International Travel Still Possible
DGCA has said that until January 31, 2022, all the regular international flight operations are suspended. All the specially approved international flights from the DGCA, as well as cargo flights, can operate in a normal fashion.
The reason why the regular international flights won’t start right now is because of the new COVID-19 variant, namely ‘Omicron’. The Omicron variant has been spreading very fast, and many countries, including India, see the threat that it poses to millions of lives.
However, the good thing about the air bubble agreements is that they can be expanded should there be any need for operating more flights out of demand. India has already formed air bubble agreements with many nations, including the UK, Singapore, Paris, and more.