Union Civil Aviation Ministry, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Future of Air Travel is likely to continue within Travel Bubble until March-April next year. When asked a question about international travel, the minister replied, “It is difficult to say as there is no country which has completely opened its borders for all. It depends on the availability of a vaccine as countries will feel more confident once a vaccine is there.”
Travel Bubbles are specific arrangements between countries that allow airline carriers to carry passengers between two agreed destinations. As of now, India has travel bubble arrangement to 15 countries and regular international passenger flights have been suspended till October 31. The minister also mentioned that it might likely be in place till March-April. “There are basically three issues to consider before resuming regular international flights. One, resuming domestic connectivity connecting bigger cities to a smaller town, which we have already done. Second, the nature of the virus on which I can’t comment and the third is international restrictions. Every country wants its people to return, but for others, there are plenty of restrictions,” said Mr Hardeep Singh Puri
On the other hand, the domestic airlines will continue to operate with 75% capacity. However, at present the airlines are operating with 65% capacity after the domestic airlines were allowed during Unlock Phase. . “There is no deadline. But this can happen soon as the domestic numbers are going up. Before this, I said that the pre-covid domestic number will be achieved between Diwali and New Year. Now I am confident that by the first quarter next year, we will be able to surpass the pre-covid number,” said the Minister.
Pradeep Singh Kharola secretary of Civil Aviation said, “This marks the beginning of the second phase of domestic travel as we are now gearing up to face the challenge of welcoming more people in the airports as the festive season is almost upon us. We had a meeting with the airlines recently in this regard,”