After closure, international passenger flights to India will be approved country by country

NEW DELHI: The resumption of scheduled passenger flights after midnight April 14-15, unless the blockade is extended to contain the spread of the coronavirus, will be a gradual matter. Allow passengers, mostly Indians stranded abroad, to fly to India from one country to another (from where they have to return) based on the call received by the ministries of health and home.

“Even before they were suspended on March 22, there were restrictions on people coming to India (similar to those adopted by many other countries) depending on the crown situation there. Unless the blockade is extended, the health ministry will decide which countries are safe enough (in terms of the crown) to allow people to fly from there to India from April 15, the secretary of Thursday said on Thursday. PS Kharola aviation.

Airlines in their internal communications have also told employees that once the blockade is lifted, the chances of domestic operations resuming first are higher than international ones, which could be a more gradual matter.

In a video conference organized by the aviation ministry, Air India President Rajiv Bansal said that AI has signed a contract with four countries to operate evacuation flights from India to fly its citizens: Germany (10 flights), Canada (6), France (1) and Ireland (1). These special flights started on Wednesday with German citizens flying back to Frankfurt. The letters for Canada and Ireland will see AI take its passengers to London Heathrow. From Heathrow, Canada and Ireland will make arrangements to take their passengers home.

“Some countries have contacted us through their embassies in Delhi to operate a special letter to bring their citizens back home. We will be operating 18 such flights to the four countries. These flights outside India will take its citizens on the way back to India, the plane will have no cargo or passengers (ferry flight), said Bansal.

The AI ​​president added that the airline has the Chinese go-ahead to operate cargo flights to transport medical equipment from there to India. We have approval to operate Delhi-Shanghai-Delhi on April 4-5. We are awaiting your authorization to operate only cargo flights to Shanghai on the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th. Delhi-Hong Kong-Delhi cargo flights have also been approved by China. These flights will bring medical equipment, said Bansal.

From March 26 to April 1, India had seen 85 flights, 62 by Air India Group, 15 by the Indian Air Force and 8 by private airlines, operated within the country to transport 76 tons of medical equipment and other essential items to combat the crown. pandemic.

On Thursday morning, a plane was operating from the IAF base in Hindon (near Delhi) to allow vegetables to be transported, said Secretary of the Aviation Ministry, Usha Padhee.

The Indian DGCA on Wednesday allowed passenger configuration aircraft to operate full-load flights. Now the number of these flights will increase accordingly.

Airlines will be allowed to operate cargo flights where they will carry our free essential medical equipment and cargo on commercial terms, said aviation minister H S Puri. International airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways have also announced operational cargo flights to India.