New Delhi: Days after opening the domestic flight operations in the country, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said that the international flight operations will start soon after the coronavirus situation normalises. He also said that it depends on the foreign countries whether they are open to incoming flights from India or not. Also Read - International Flights: Delhi Airport Handled Flights to These New Global Destinations For the First Time Ever During Lockdown
Taking to Twitter, Puri said that he is continuously monitoring the situation. “We are continuously monitoring the situation and will consider restarting international flights as soon as situation normalises a bit and poses no danger to our citizens. We will also have to consider that countries, where we intend to fly, are open to incoming foreign citizens,” he said. Also Read - India Prepares to Resume International Flights on Select Routes: What Are The Main Hurdles?
Giving further information, Puri said that the Centre is planning to add several more flights in the third phase of Vande Bharat Mission.
“We are also adding several more flights in the third phase of Vande Bharat Mission. These flights will also carry outbound passengers to countries which have no restrictions on taking them in. So people can also avail these flights to return to the countries they wish to go,” he said.
Talking about ongoing protests over international flight operations on social media, Puri said perhaps all the opportunities of returning are not known to these people.
“A small group of persons has been proactively agitating on social media since the lockdown began on March 25 because they wish to return to their homes abroad. Perhaps all the opportunities of returning are not known to them,” he said.
On Tuesday, Puri had said that ‘several factors need to be addressed’ before restarting the international flights, adding that once the country starts operating 50-60% domestic flights, ‘our ability to resume international operations will also improve’.
Puri further had said that within India, most international flights operate from the metros, with travellers arriving from neighbouring cities and states. He added that the metro cities were under various degrees of lockdown which are beginning to be lifted.