India Extends International Flight Ban until 31st January, 2022. The travel industry awaits clearance for take-off!
Roll back to March 2020, when the pandemic started to take global roots, the government of India announced a ban on international flights to and from the country. This was then inline with many other countries that placed similar restrictions. Since then the GOI had put in place various other ‘restricted’ routes to entry and exit such as repatriation flights run by state carrier Air India.
Subsequently, limited non-stop flights were allowed to 32 select countries under ‘Air-Bubble‘ arrangements that were put in place.
Over time during the last two years, indications were made towards the gradual resumption of flights. Month after month the flight ban has been extended for periods of 30-60 days. Back in Novemeber the GOI via the the Ministry of Civil Aviation indicated that we could see the resumption of near-normal flight activity by the middle of December 2021, however this was not to be.
With the new Omicron variation posing unknown challenges and reports of increased transmisability, the GOI has decided to err on the side of cuationonce again. In it’s latest announcement the Ministry has extended the International Flight Ban until the end of January, 2022.
Whats’ the Impact?
Flights approved via the Air Bubbles will continue with no changes as confirmed by the DGCA.
Many Travellers have been waiting for almost 18 months to travel to and from the country. Airlines now have had to cancel/ reduce capacity offered on these routes. With limited supply comes sky high prices for travel.
Route choices are also limited with direct flight say for example to Europe fully booked at well in advance.
Flight Prices for a Month from Bengaluru to Frankfurt, One Way
|Departure at||Stops||Find tickets|
|2 July 2022||Direct|
|9 July 2022||Direct|
|10 July 2022||Direct|
|29 July 2022||Direct|
|12 July 2022||Direct|
|11 July 2022||Direct|
With the pandemic taking a toll on the travel and tourism industry, this announcement does not bring any relief. Airlines around the world have been struggling to stay afloat. Jobs dependant on travel and hospitality are stressed with no line of sight to when relief will be available.
Hopefully, this is the last suspension and things turnaround with increasing vaccinations and prepardness we will need to lear to live with the new normal while trying to get back as much as we can to return to older freedoms.