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International flight operations to return to normalcy ‘very soon’: Civil Aviation Ministry

Regular international flight operations are likely to resume soon, said Rajiv Bansal, Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Public Aviation on Wednesday said India would ‘very soon’ resume normal international flights, which were suspended due to the Covid Pandemic. The government allowed international commercial flights to go on a case-to-case basis.

The Director-General of Aviation (DGCA) on October 29 extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights until November 30th. The DGCA notice, however, stated that the restrictions would not apply to international operations carrying all cargo and directly authorized flights by DGCA. However, the restrictions will not apply to international operations carrying all DGCA-authorized goods and flights. Special flights are allowed under India’s “air bubble” systems built by different countries.

Under the air-conditioning system between the two countries, international passenger flights may be operated by their respective carriers to each other’s locations under certain conditions.

In October, the government allowed airlines to operate domestic aircraft without any restrictions.

The announcement comes as a great relief to the aviation industry and the tourism industry both of which have seen significant losses due to Covid-19 and continue to face challenges as diseases continue to grow rapidly in other parts of the world. The recent rise in European crime cases will also have a negative impact on the tourism industry as governments impose restrictions.

Commenting on the loss of Air India, Rajiv Bansal said it was likely to be transferred to Tata’s party by the end of the year. “We are making efforts to transfer all Air India operations by the end of December,” he said.

The government in October released a letter of intent (LoI) confirming the sale of its 100% stake in Air India to Tata Group for Rs 18,000 crore, a senior official said.

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