In August 2020, the government of India launched AIR SUVIDHA, a first-of-its-kind facility easing travel to India for international travelers amid the pandemic. Integrated to the website of New Delhi International Airport, Air Suvidha can make or break your travel plans for India. Compulsory for everyone traveling on air bubble flights to India from USA and other countries, the portal put an end to the confusion and inconvenience that India-bound flyers had gone through until the end of July, with regard to the very first step one needs to take for safe and easy travel to India from abroad.
It is Air Suvidha where you must fill out a self-declaration form and upload your negative RT-PCR report within 72 hours of undertaking the journey. The portal integrates the self-declaration form with an ‘Apply Now’ button. A left click on the button opens up the Air Suvidha Self Declaration form that must be filled with your/the traveler’s contact number, passport number, PNR number, flight/tail number and other details. On successful submission of the self-declaration form, you will receive an email confirmation carrying a PDF in attachment. Make sure to carry 2-3 printouts of the PDF because the hard copy may be asked for during boarding and on arrival. It will help not only you, but also the officials in expedite boarding and reducing inbound traffic congestion in the arrival area of entry airports.
Many travelers wonder whether they should use the same Air Suvidha on Delhi IGI Airport website if they are flying to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, or Kolkata. Air Suvidha is the one-stop solution for all India-bound travelers, irrespective of their entry airport and final destination in India. Though Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have their own portals where you are required to register as well if you are traveling to any of these states, Air Suvidha is common to all.
Until before the new rules for international arrivals to India took effect on February 23 this year, Air Suvidha had the provision for travelers to apply for exemption from institutional quarantine in four different categories. Currently, you can apply on Air Suvidha for exemption only in case of a death in family. You must provide valid documents justifying your request for exemption. On submission of the exemption request, you will receive an acknowledgement with a unique reference number to your registered email ID. If approved, you will be exempted from taking a pre-arrival RT-PCR test and be able to enter India without a negative RT-PCR report. Please note exempted travelers are required to take a COVID test on arrival at the gateway/entry airport in India.
Air Suvidha, an extension of Indira Gandhi International Airport, does also let you track the status of your self-reporting application or exemption request if approval is delayed.
However, you may not be allowed to board without a negative RT-PCR report if your itinerary includes an international connecting/transit flight, despite your exemption request approved on Air Suvidha. Those taking an RT-PCR test not more than 72 hours before traveling to India and uploading the negative report on Air Suvidha don’t need to seek exemption.
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