The long wait of the Indian citizens stranded in foreign countries might finally come to an end. Airlines have decided to resume services of all international flights from April 15, but only on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. In other words, citizens will be allowed to travel back to India depending on which country they are coming from. Domestic flights too will start with their booking processes, but they’ll be cancelled if the lockdown extends beyond 14th April.
What’s Operating Now
All international and domestic flights operating in India has been cancelled until 14th April 2020 in the wake of the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus. However, medical evacuation flights, offshore helicopter services, freight flights and DGCA permitted flights will operate during this period. Also, India has approved foreign countries like Germany, the UK and the US to conduct special flights to retrieve their citizens from the country.
Air India has entered into a contract with Germany, France, Ireland and Canada to return their stranded citizens. It will operate a total of 18 charter flights to these countries. Also, the airplanes taking back the foreign nationals will not carry any passengers or cargo on their way back to India.
The secretary of the ministry of civil aviation, Pradeep Kharola has stated that the health and home ministries have to ensure that the COVID-19 outbreak is under control in other affected nations before allowing international flights to operate again.
Also, many airlines who are unable to refund money for cancelled flights due to huge losses incurred amid lockdown are planning to convert the amount into a prepaid voucher which can be availed at a future date.
If you’re taking a flight after lockdown, remember to keep your facemask and sanitizer handy. Even after normal activities resume, we must keep our precautions high until the disease is completely eradicated.