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India finally resumes scheduled international flights

The government of India has finally decided to resume scheduled international flights starting today after 2 years.

International flying is back!

Starting today i.e. 27th March 2022, 6 Indian airlines and 60 international airlines from 40 countries, will operate scheduled international flights to/from India as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. These airline will operate 3,249 weekly flights to and from India under the summer schedule of 2022.

The fares, which were at an all time high due to the air bubble system the country had created, are expected to go down but not to the pre-pandemic levels as the Russia-Ukraine war has pushed the oil prices to rise.

Airlines gear up to capture Indian traffic!

Indigo will have the highest international departures from India at 505-flights-a-week. This will be followed by Air India at 361-flights-a-week, Air India Express at 340-flights-a-week and Emirates at 170-flights-a-week. Emirates recently announced that it will re-instate pre-pandemic flight frequencies to India.

3 Tata Group Airlines – Air India, Vistara and Air India Express – will have 757 international flights a week. Air Asia India, Tata Group’s fourth airline, does not have international flying rights.

Indigo has announced that it will resume its nonstop daily flight between Delhi and Istanbul on 1st June 2022 while its flights to China remain suspended.

Foreign airlines will again be able to offer one-
stop transits to travel between India and rest of
the world through their hubs especially those
in the Gulf and a few in Southeast Asia, like

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Airlines had applied for approval of their
international schedules for this summer. A senior official from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said:

A total of 1,466 departures per week by six Indian carriers have been approved to 43 destinations in 27 countries, including UAE (Indians’ biggest foreign destination), Singapore, Thailand, Qatar, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Turkey, Malaysia, UK, France, Germany, the US, Canada, Australia, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong and Russia.

The DGCA official added:

Sixty foreign airlines of 40 countries have been allowed to operate 1,783 weekly flights to and from India. The airlines are from countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, the US, Germany, Singapore, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Russia, UAE, Australia, Qatar, Britain, Canada and Egypt.

Air India has not yet announced any plans to boost flights to the United States as United Airlines has suspended flights between Mumbai and Newark & between Delhi and San Francisco due to Russian airspace closure. US airlines now cannot overfly Russian airspace, something which Air India can, and Air India benefits from this and have the shortest flying time between India and US. Delta Airlines’ nonstop Mumbai-New York flight remains suspended and American Airlines’ daily nonstop Delhi-New York flight continues to operate.

Air France-KLM, in a statement said:

We will progressively increase flight operations from India, starting with 20 weekly flights in April, and will expand frequency in May with 30 weekly flights. Air France will operate from four gateways – Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai – and KLM from Delhi and Mumbai.

Virgin Atlantic will introduce a second daily frequency between Delhi and London on 1st June 2022. The airline in a statement said:

Coupled with its service from Mumbai, Virgin Atlantic will offer three daily flights from India, making it the airline’s biggest flying programme ever to India.

Lufthansa has also announced that along with SWISS Airways, it will gradually increase flights. Both the airline will operate a combined 22-flights-a-week. This will increase to 42-flights-a-week by July 2022, which will be close to pre-pandemic level. Lufthansa will operate flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru while SWISS will operate flights to Mumbai and Delhi. Lufthansa will resume nonstop flights between Chennai and Frankfurt on 29th April 2022.

What do you think of India finally resuming scheduled international flights? Let me know in the comments section below.

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