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Coronavirus | Efforts on to resume international flights: AAI Chairman

A passenger seen with a PPE suit at the T3 Indira Gandhi International Teminal, in New Delhi. File.

A passenger seen with a PPE suit at the T3 Indira Gandhi International Teminal, in New Delhi. File.   | Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

Consensus building on with other countries: AAI chief

Consensus building is on between India and other countries to create travel bubbles for resumption of international flight operations, Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Arvind Singh said on Thursday.

“The Civil Aviation Ministry is in constant touch with different countries and is working on a consensus to start international flights. These are going to be bubbles between India and the U.S., Canada, Europe as well as Gulf countries so that flights can be mutually started,” Mr. Singh said at a webinar. He said there was a possibility that flights might start in July and therefore, Indian airports needed to be ready.

Also read | India plans international flights

Bilateral agreements

Last month, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it would enter into bilateral agreements with the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany to create travel bubbles or bridges to allow movement of passengers in a safe manner. The move came after international airlines objected to Air India conducting a vast repatriation exercise while they were denied access to Indian skies and with it the large traffic originating and ending here.

Recently, the European Union has decided to open its borders to 15 non-EU countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Thailand.

“The earlier we unlock the quicker we will be able to start our journey to normalisation of aviation. While VB [Vande Bharat] has helped to bring stranded Indians back, if we can start normalisation of outbound international flights, it will help those Indians who need to leave to rejoin their jobs in different countries,” said IATA’s Country Director for India, Amitabh Khosla.

He said the decline in passenger demand in India was expected to be 47%.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 11:41:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/efforts-on-to-resume-international-flights-aai-chairman/article31973271.ece

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