‘Normalisation of international flights will depend on Omicron situation’

‘Normalisation of international flights will depend on Omicron situation’
Health workers check temperature of passengers at Srinagar airport. File/ANI

New Delhi: Normalisation of international flight services will depend on the Omicron scenario and authorities concerned will watch the situation as it unfolds, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday.

On November 26, aviation regulator DGCA decided to restart scheduled commercial international flights to and from India from December 15. However, the decision was put on hold in less than a week in the wake of the emergence of Omicron, the new COVID variant. Last week, the watchdog said the flights will remain suspended till January 31.

Scheduled commercial international passenger flights remain suspended since March 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the flights are being operated under bilateral air bubble arrangements with various countries in a restricted manner.

Speaking at a summit organised by industry body CII on Tuesday, Scindia said normalisation of international flights would depend on the Omicron situation.

“Keeping in mind the health, we cannot dissociate ourselves from COVID. We are working closely with the health ministry. When we tide over Omicron, we can look at going back to normalcy even vis-a-vis international travel but I cannot give you the date today.

“It is not incumbent on me, there are host of other factors, other ministries that I have to coordinate with and watch the situation as it unfolds over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

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