International passenger flights could take off by the end of this year

International passenger flight services were expected to be normalised “very soon” and possibly by the end of this year, Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said on Wednesday.

Scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remain suspended since March 2020 amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The suspension has been extended till November 30. 

Normalisation of international flights was expected “very soon” and by the end of this year, Mr Bansal said today. Currently, India has air bubble arrangements with more than 25 countries for operating international flights. 

Under an air bubble arrangement between two countries, international passenger flights can be operated by their respective carriers into each other’s territories, subject to certain conditions. 

Last week, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said that the government was evaluating the process for normalising international operations and had asserted that it wanted to return to normalcy, while keeping in mind the Coronavirus pandemic situation in certain parts of the world. 

“I am all for regaining our space in the civil aviation arena in the world and making a hub in India and for more wide-body aircraft. We will get there, but bear with me and trust me. I am on your side. We will work together but in a safe environment,” he had said. 

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