News, Alerts & Information on COVID-19
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) travel advice
For travellers arriving in India
We are closely following the global and national civil aviation authorities, aiming to provide you the latest directive/travel advisory and serve your travel needs accordingly. We understand the impact of flight suspension, international and domestic, on your reservation and travel during the global health crisis. Hence, we are striving to offer quick assistance to those who were scheduled to travel in the next 72 hours.
Since India's travel advisory issued on March 11, we have been experiencing a high call volume and addressing a huge inflow of queries/requests. Currently, we are operating with limited capacity and other challenges due to social distancing and other precautionary measures that the local government authorities have put in place to counter the incidence of COVID19. However, assisting you on your reservation amidst the travel and entry restrictions across geographies is our topmost priority.
A long wait time in the queue can be frustrating for you, but we hope you cooperate with us. We deeply regret the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.Read more
The global aviation industry is breathlessly waiting to exit the stagnation of passenger flight operations. While the government of India is mulling over further extension of the lockdown with a right mix of restrictions and relaxations for flattening the COVID19 curve and easing the economic inertia simultaneously, Indian airports are gearing up to adapt to the new normal - social distancing. Expecting the current lockdown to be lifted post May 3, major airports of India have planned to restart commercial operations with new passenger safety rules and 'new normal' guidelines in place.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/indian-airports-post-lockdown-guidelines/
The future of middle seats on planes is at stake in the post-Coronavirus world of air travel. Middle Seats - the not so beloved of flyers - are rather a pet hate even on the cheapest economy flights. Much to the pleasure of travelers, middle seats may remain unfilled for some time once flights are resumed to India and other destinations, as some airlines are not booking middle seats considering it a need of the hour for social distancing on board.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/no-middle-seats-flights-covid19/
President Trump's tweet about temporary suspension of immigration into the United States, on April 20, sent jitters to immigrant communities amid the COVID19 pandemic. After critics labeled it as a hysterical reaction to the COVID19 impact that has stripped the US economy of over 20 million jobs, Trump dispersed the clouds of misgivings and fears around his 'vague' announcement on Twitter during a White House press briefing yesterday.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/trump-ban-immigration-covid19/
"Given the present situation of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in India and the available limited resources, it is not feasible to selectively evacuate Indian citizens from abroad when a large number of them from a number of countries want to return back due to various reasons," said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement issued in response to the several lawsuits filed in the Supreme Court of India. The petitions filed with the Supreme Court seek repatriation flights for evacuation of Indian nationals, including students, senior citizens, tourists and migrant laborers, who are currently stranded in the US, the UK, Iran, the Gulf and other countries.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/petitions-for-usa-to-india-repatriation-flights/
Post the COVID19 pandemic, the future of air travel may not be pleasant for some time. But it won't be bleak either. While the world is wondering when and how to travel safely by air, Emirates resumed operations with limited passenger flights. The health of travelers being the first and foremost need of the COVID19 hours, Emirates Airlines has started testing passengers for COVID19 before boarding them on to flights from Dubai. Notably, Emirates is the first major international airline to carry out pre-boarding COVID19 blood tests on passengers, and thereby leaving a trail for other airlines.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/emirates-flights-covid19-tests/
How to revive the US economy hit by the COVID19 pandemic is not just a question but a challenge to the Trump administration. With projected degrowth in the per capita income of 170 countries including the US and India, the global economy is in a terrible mess. Temporary shutdown of businesses, millions of job losses, and a record 7 million Americans having filed claims for unemployment benefits are likely to catapult the federal deficit to the highest level since the Great Depression, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While the global economy is projected to shrink by 3% over the ebbing inflow of consumption-based revenue in the aftermath of the COVID19 health crisis, the American economy is on the verge of a recession.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/trump-us-economy-recovery-taskforce-indian-americans/
India extended lockdown till May 3, 2020 as a continued measure to flatten the COVID19 curve which has been upward to this day. Hence, all domestic and international passenger flight operations will remain suspended until further notice. India, where 171 million people travel on domestic flights a year and the busiest Delhi IGI airport handles over 1300 commercial flights daily, needs a highly viable plan for its airports and airlines to resume operations post the COVID19 lockdown, with passenger safety being the sole focus of preparedness.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/cisf-india-flights-new-rules-post-lockdown/
Early this month, the US Department of Transportation directed airlines to give refunds for flights cancelled due to travel disruptions across geographies and several countries entry restrictions amid the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. In the enforcement notice issued on April 3, the DOT starkly reminded airlines of their 'longstanding obligation' to process quick refunds when airlines cancel confirmed tickets, or make a significant change in the flight schedule, or offer alternative flights that passengers choose not to accept. The chief of the European Union Transport sent a similar message telling airlines to reimburse travelers for flight cancellations in view of the COVID19 health emergency.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/covid19-cancelled-flights-refund/
Will India lift its entry restrictions for inbound international travelers post April 14, 2020? When will USA to India flights start post the lockdown? Will India open its airspace for incoming flights from abroad? Will India resume outbound international flights once the lockdown period is over? Scores of similar questions are surfacing across social media and travel forums with the impending end to the COVID19 lockdown in India. The countrywide lockdown that was imposed with effect on March 23 resulted in suspension of international and domestic travel until April 14, 2020.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/india-resumes-flights-post-covid19-lockdown/
Tens of hundreds of NRIs (including H1B and H4 visa holders) and US citizens of Indian origin, including senior citizens, are stuck in the lockdown across India. Entry restrictions, travel ban, suspension of flights, fears of quarantine, gnawing health concerns, COVID19 misinformation ? all that emerged in the aftermath of Novel Coronavirus epidemic ? left them stranded in India. Dr. Pulkit Mehta and his 70-year-old father, a US citizen from Newark, who had gone to attend a family wedding in India, could not return to the United States. Currently, about 33,000 US citizens are stranded across the world.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/repatriation-flights-us-citizens-india/
In another bad news related to events triggered by the impact of COVID19 pandemic, the Embassy of India in DC, and the Consulate General of India in the US announced temporary suspension of all OCI and passport services this morning. In a statement issued earlier this day, the Indian Embassy in Washington DC stated that as India?s lockdown amid the COVID19 fears is extended for 21 days from 12:00 GMT March 25, the passport and OCI services in the USA are put on hold for an indefinite period of time.https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/usa-oci-passport-services-suspended/
Ticket Refund, Cancellation & Re-Issue Waivers
In the current unprecedented times, we are doing all that we can do to serve you the best. Most airlines are giving a onetime 'change of date' fee waiver for rescheduling. Few airlines are giving refund against cancellation. In compliance with the current policy of airlines, we are striving to accommodate and process your rescheduling/refund requests. Passengers of the airlines that are giving refund against cancellation will get refunds in 8-18 weeks as airlines are grappling with a mounting backlog of cancellations.
Frequently Asked Questions