International flights have started flying to and from India. Earlier, as a consequence of COVID-19 outbreak on the global scale, the Civil Aviation Ministry of India had decided to suspend all the travel routes. Although international flights started functioning a while back, booking of these flights were done through embassies or Air India website or office only. Now the ministry has permitted the travel portals and agents to book tickets through them. "Ticket sales for Air India, Air France, Lufthansa and United went live on its website from July 18", said a spokesperson from MakeMyTrip.
Bookings for Internationa Flights Can Now Be Done Through Various Platforms
Bilateral agreements are made with France, Germany and USA allowing a restricted number of flights, said the Civil Aviation Ministry last week. For making the bookings easier and fast, the airlines are now selling tickets through travel portals also. Vande Bharat flights, which are being operated by Air India is now available for booking on these portals as well. Also, the domestic airlines which are bringing Indians back from foreign destinations are available there.
Tickets for repatriation flights from Air India is being sold on travel portals like Ixigo, Cleartrip and Easemytrip from July 18. These flights are bringing stranded Indians from the US and Europe. London flights are on sale from Monday. An ixigo spokesperson said, “International and Indian airlines flying limited schedules to West Asia sectors including the Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air India Express are also available to book on our platform.” It has been a relief for travellers who were complaining about Air India's website. By looking at the concerns of the travellers, portals are providing value-added service to them.
Cleartrip's Global Head, Balu Ramachandran said, “There are two important aspects from a customer’s stand-point. One is the availability of information such as regulations at airports, inside aircraft and quarantine norms. The second aspect is providing flexibility with their travel plans because airfares are prohibitive and rescheduling and cancelling tickets is expensive.” He further added, Cleartrip is offering two products - Travel Safe and FlexiFly - to serve their passengers.
A spokesperson from MakeMyTrip said, “We have ready reckoners and content repositories with details and links that will help weed out concerns given ever-evolving travel regulations over the last few months."