Emirates Airlines is gearing up for resumption of flights to India and other countries mostly in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Sudan and Egypt. Emirates flights booking, India apart, is also open for Manila and Colombo with effect from July 2020. Travelers wonder whether the opening up of Emirates flights to India from USA indicates at resumption of US-India flight operations in July.
There are ample hints latent in the tweets that India’s civil aviation minister posted, today (June 1), indicating when India is likely to restart international passenger flights. One of his latest tweets reads,
“MHA guidelines for lockdown 5.0 have further opened up inter & intra-state travel, facilitating calibrated reopening of the sector. As we move towards the critical mass of 50-60% operation of domestic flights, our ability to resume international operations will also improve.”
During a live Facebook session two days before the reopening of the country’s domestic aviation sector, a journalist asked the civil aviation minister whether the government was planning to lift the restrictions on international travel in August. Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri replied optimistically that they could do before August, even in July.
Just as charity begins at home, the domestic aviation sector needs to be restored to normalcy before India opens up for international flights. Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, which are still under various degrees of lockdown due to COVID19, have put a cap on the daily number of inbound domestic flights. With the increasing numbers of domestic flights, these airports will be gearing up for regular international commercial flight operations, both inbound and outbound.
This morning, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, “Many international destinations are not allowing incoming passenger traffic, except for their own citizens and diplomats.” However, the gradual opening up of countries across the world hints at chances for resumption of international travel in July. Hong Kong and Singapore restarted allowing international travelers to transit through their respective airports beginning in June 2020. This will facilitate resumption of flights between USA and India in July.
Moreover, United Airlines is pacing up towards resuming long-haul services to Asia, including direct flights to Delhi from San Francisco and Newark Liberty airports in July 2020.
Another positive indication at when regular international flights will be resumed to India is that the Vande Bharat Mission for evacuation of distressed, stranded Indians from abroad will end on June 30. The end of special Air India flights for NRIs stranded at home and abroad will make the beginning of normal international operations.
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