India will resume scheduled international flights from December 15 after the coronavirus-induced suspension, the Aviation Ministry informed on Friday.
The Civil Aviation Ministry, in a statement, said the matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“The matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and it has been decided that scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India may be resumed from December 15, 2021,” the statement read.
The announcement comes two days after the Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said international flight operations are expected to return to normalcy soon, “by the end of this year”.
Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The suspension was extended till November 30, exempting dedicated cargo flights and commercial flights that fall under air-bubble arrangements with the destination countries.
However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble arrangements formed with approximately 28 countries.
Earlier in October, India had announced opening its borders to fully vaccinated foreign tourists. However, those who wanted to visit India on scheduled commercial flights were asked to wait till November 15.
“Foreign tourists entering into India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so only with effect from November 15, on fresh Tourist Visas,” said a statement from the Home Ministry.