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Written by Swathi on September 25, 2020 Share on

Air travel restrictions & relaxations – Salient features ahead of Unlock 5.0

There have been many ifs and buts about reopening air travel in India ever since the pandemic took shape. All through the various periods of lockdown, air travel has always been suspended for safety reasons. With September coming to an end, the question of opening up air travel as part of Unlock 5.0 has popped up yet again. India has managed to finalize travel bubbles with a number of countries across the globe. But will it manage to start flight operations full-fledged by the end of this month? That’s something which does not have a definite answer as yet.

Air Travel Bubble Arrangements

Airport runway
Image source: Unsplash

India has managed to establish air travel bubbles with over 13 countries. These include the UK, the US, the UAE, Maldives, Afghanistan, Germany, France, Canada, Nigeria, Qatar, Bahrain, Japan and Iraq. Our country is currently in talks with other countries like Kenya, Thailand, Australia, Russia and Singapore for travel bubbles. Vande Bharat flights, on the other hand, will continue to operate for transferring Indian citizens living in other countries.

Some countries like Kuwait, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Hong Kong have banned flights from India currently when a number of passengers had recently tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival. However, Vande Bharat flights will continue to operate from these countries for the transfer of Indians to and from these countries.

Other relaxations

Image source: Unsplash

Domestic flights have sprung back in operation gradually ever since the beginning of Unlock 4.0. The number of flights has risen to 60% of its total operation which is a good sign for the airline industry. Initially, meals were not to be served and only one check-in baggage was to be allowed per person. But that restriction has now been revoked with meals being allowed and baggage numbers being left up to the airline’s discretion. Various other changes are being incorporated from time to time to ensure that the process of operating flights is as smooth as possible.

Also read: Cost of Air Travel Bubble and Vande Bharat Flights to be borne by travellers

It is quite uncertain as to when we will be back in full swing with regards to flight operation. The Civil Aviation Ministry has stated that since the quarantine and testing requirements vary from country to country, it will be difficult to take a call on the same. In the case of India, apart from the 14-day institutional quarantine, home quarantine is also a mandate which makes the situation slightly dicey. But now, India has come up with the procedure of the producing proof of the RT-PCR test (not older than 96 hours from the date of travel.) to allow entry.

If all goes well and protocols are followed, we can expect International flights to resume as per plan at the onset of Unlock 5.0. Safe travel will soon become the order of the day. Along the same lines, if you are looking for a short getaway close to your city of residence, opt for a staycation. This is one of the best ways to celebrate the Unlock 5.0 mode. Choose from the wide range of options given by Pickyourtrail and plan a fun-filled getaway.

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