Airports Authority issues new guidelines as international flights resume tomorrow

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Airports Authority issues new guidelines as international flights resume tomorrow

Edited by
Siddhant Pandey

March 26, 2022, 7:29 PM
3 minute read

India had suspended scheduled international flights in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

India will resume international flights from midnight March 27 after a two-year break.

Hence, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Saturday introduced new COVID-19 guidelines for international operations.

Under the new guidelines, crew members will not be required to wear PPE kits.

However, the wearing of face masks at the airport and during the flight will remain mandatory.

See the new guidelines below.

Why is this story important?

  • Travelers traveling abroad will need to comply with the latest guidelines.
  • India had suspended international air travel on March 23, 2020, as COVID-19 cases started to rise in the country.
  • India has since extended the suspension several times, gradually rolling back the restrictions.
  • International travel has been allowed on certain routes through air bubble arrangements with 37 countries. However, regular international travel has remained suspended so far.

What are the new COVID guidelines? What changed?

The requirement to keep three seats vacant on international flights has been removed under revised COVID-19 guidelines, the AAI said on Twitter.

Additionally, the requirement for crew members to wear full PPE kits has also been removed, he said.

Airport security personnel will resume frisk searches, which were halted earlier due to the COVID-19 physical distancing directive.

Updated guidelines due to vaccinations, declining cases: AAI

“In view of the decrease in COVID19 virus cases and a successful vaccination campaign, @MoCA_GoI (Ministry of Civil Aviation) has decided to resume international scheduled flight operations from March 27, 2022. It has revised its existing COVID guidelines regarding international operations,” AAI tweeted.

Air bubble deals expire

The temporary air bubble provisions introduced during COVID-19 will no longer apply after Saturday.

Under these agreements, India had international flights with Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka , Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan.

Scheduled international flights were to resume from December

India had originally planned to resume regular international flight operations from December 15, 2021.

However, the plan was postponed with the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which caused the third wave of COVID-19 in India.

Earlier this month, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia announced the resumption of scheduled international flights, saying the aviation sector would now “reach new heights”.

India today reported less than 2,000 cases of COVID-19

COVID-19 cases are on the decline in India.

As of Saturday morning, India reported only 1,938 new cases of COVID-19 and 67 new deaths.

The active caseload in the country currently stands at 22,427.

India has also fully vaccinated over 82 million people against COVID-19, according to Co-WIN.

More than 98 million other people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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