The lurking threat of super-spreader variant Omicron has cast a shadow on resumption of commercial international flights scheduled for December 15.
The resumption is likely to be deferred, primarily in view of the travel restrictions that are being implemented at airports across the country, which include a strict regimen of tests and quarantine.
Also, a number of countries have either imposed strict travel curbs or closed their borders due to the evolving pandemic situation, which has brought the revival in the hospitality sector to a virtual standstill. UK, for instance, has been debating a Christmas lockdown.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has said that it will notify its decision in due course on the date of resumption of commercial flights. It has been nearly 20 months since these flights were suspended.
‘‘The situation is being watched closely," the DGCA circular reads, suggesting that unless there is a perceptible improvement on the ground situation, the decision to reschedule flights stands.
In a recent interaction with ANI, junior minister of Aviation General V K Singh had said that, "there is tremendous pressure from the public to restart scheduled international flights,’’ especially students and professionals.
Passenger flights operating under a bubble arrangement -- two or more nations allowing flights into each other's territories, subject to certain conditions – is likely to continue.