The recently released guidelines under the Unlock 5.0, the government of India has declared to extend the ban on international flights till October 31. The scheduled international flights to and from the country have been under halt since March 23. The overseas flights were suspended till September 30 under the Unlock 4.0 guidelines.
However, the government will continue to operate international flights under the Air Bubble agreement with various countries, Including the US, UK, UAE and more. In sum, the government has a deal with 13 different countries to ease the travel ban and allow free-flow of worldwide flights from both sides. For countries where Air Bubble Agreement is not yet authenticated, the government is undertaking Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate stranded Indians.
Apart from international flights under Air Bubble pacts and Vande Bharat mission, India is currently serving cargo flights and domestic flights to aid travelers’ and freight movement across the country. While the domestic flights were also under the ban, the government deliberately reopened the domestic routes in a controlled manner, allowing 35 per cent retention of the actual calendar.
Currently, domestic flights are operating at 60 per cent capacity of the original schedule. As for the Air Bubble deal, India had initially settled travel bubbles with countries like the United States, Germany and France. Since then, India has formed agreements with 13 nations in total.
Lately, Lufthansa, one of Europe’s largest airline and Germany’s largest airline, announced to cancel all flights to India commencing till October 2020 quoting a conflict with the centre. Lufthansa, in a bill, said that the Indian government has startlingly rejected the Lufthansa’s flight schedule despite prior agreement under the air bubble pact.