International Flights Latest Updates: Even though the aviation regulator DGCA permitted the international flight services to resume on selected routes on a case to case basis, the fact still remains that a number of obstacles need to be overcome before resuming the operations.Also Read - International Flights: Air India Express Announces Flights to Kuala Lumpur For February, Opens Booking: Check Full Flight Schedule Here

The DGCA on Friday extended the suspension of international flights till July 15 and noted that international flights may be allowed on selected routes on a case-to-case basis. Also Read - Akasa Air Plans Domestic Operations by Early June, May Begin International Flights by 2023, Says CEO Vinay Dube

Though the DGCA allowed special flights for repatriation of stranded Indians from abroad, it has not allowed scheduled passenger flights on international routes as yet. Also Read - 5G Deployment: Air India to Commence Normal Operations to US From Friday. Details Here

The scheduled international passenger flights were suspended in the country on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India and other private domestic airlines have been operating unscheduled international repatriation flights since on May 6.

Notably, India on May 25 resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights after a gap of nearly two months.

What are the main hurdles?

Even though India is getting ready to resume its international flight operations, the biggest challenge lies on the way is the country’s threat perception in terms of the caseload and how it has been able to manage the Covid-19 outbreak.

Internationally speaking, many countries are looking at a filtered border approach by excluding some nations where the governments have not been able to effectively contain the coronavirus. This concern arises because fully relaxing the border restrictions might lead to increase in the pandemic situation within their borders.

Is there demand for international flights during lockdown?

Yes, there is enough demand for international flights as a number of Indian nationals are still stranded in many parts of the world. They want to return to their home country. A number of stranded nationals have approached the Indian government to resume flights so that they can safely return home.

Earlier, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that the Centre will take a decision on resuming commercial international flights only after other countries ease their restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals and allow incoming flights.

“A decision to resume regular international operations will be taken as soon as countries ease restrictions on entry of foreign nationals. Destination countries have to be ready to allow incoming flights,” he had said in a tweet.