Unlock 1.0: International Air Travel Likely To Resume In The Third Phase

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MHA issued guidelines stating resumption of international air travel in the third phase of ‘Unlock’, but only upon assessment of the situation then. By Tanvi Jain

The Government of India recently announced the fifth phase of lockdown for containment zones of the country, while also designing an unlock structure to gradually ease restrictions in the non-containment zones in three phases.  

While the third phase might witness the resumption of international air travel, the MHA has also mentioned in its guidelines that permission for the same will be given based on the situation then. 

The MHA guidelines for lockdown 5.0 announced on May 30 will “facilitate the gradual & calibrated reopening of the aviation sector. As we move towards a critical mass of 50-60 per cent operation of domestic flights, our ability to resume international operations will also improve,” tweeted Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. 

India has already resumed domestic flights in certain non-containment zones, and the Aviation Ministry has been constantly operating special flights under its Vande Bharat Missionnot only to bring back Indians stranded abroad but also to ensure their safe return to their respective home states. 

Though India has not yet received a nod to resume international travel, the new guidelines come as a ray of hope provided the condition of the pandemic improves by the third phase of Unlock. However, Puri had earlier also assured of resuming international flights by August-September.  

India had suspended all international flights for the first time on March 22, in order to curb the rising cases of Coronavirus. And, after two months it resumed domestic flights on May 25. 

Apart from India, countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Kazakhstan, Poland, Ukraine and Argentinaetc., have also put a complete ban on air travel. 

Meanwhile, countries like Greece have resumed international travel and others that have done the same, but with restrictions and adequate safety, social distancing and quarantine measures, include, Spain, France, Ireland, US, Canada, China, Australia, etc.  

Related: Unlock 1.0: Here’s What The New MHA Guidelines Mean For Travellers

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