Regular foreign flights resume today: India to connect with 63 countries
Six Indian airlines and 60 foreign airlines will start connecting India with 63 countries from Sunday as aviation regulator DGCA released the final international flight schedule. Scheduled international flights will resume after a two-year suspension, imposed in March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
Under the new summer schedule, foreign airlines will operate 1,783 weekly flights, while Indian carriers will operate 1,466 departures each week. Market leader IndiGo will operate 505 departures per week, followed by Air India, owned by the Tata group, with 361 weekly flights, and its subsidiary Air India Express with 340 weekly flights.
The resumption of scheduled international operations should be staggered. According to the latest schedule prepared before the pandemic hit, a total of 4,700 international flight departures were operated weekly from Indian airports – the split between international and domestic being about 50:50. Until Saturday, international flights in India were operating via air bubble agreements with 37 countries.
The countries that are added as a result of scheduled operations are Iran, Malaysia, South Korea, Poland, Myanmar, Turkey, Yemen and Egypt. Even though regular operations replace bubble flights, guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will continue to apply to international arrivals to India.
Dubai-based Emirates – which has the largest operations in India for a foreign airline – will operate 170 flights a week. Air Arabia, headquartered in Sharjah, will operate 140 flights, including 30 Air Arabia Abu Dhabi flights from the UAE capital.
Sri Lanka Airlines will operate 128 weekly departures, while Oman Air will operate 115 flights weekly from various destinations in India to Muscat.
Among European carriers, British Airways will operate 49 departures per week, while German carrier Lufthansa will operate 32 flights per week. Air France will operate 20 flights a week and its KLM group airline will serve Amsterdam from India 18 times a week.
Connecting India to Southeast Asia, Singapore Airlines will fly 65 times a week from Indian airports, its low-cost branch Scoot will operate 38 departures. Malaysian carrier AirAsia Berhad will operate 71 flights, while Malaysia Airlines will operate 30 departures per week. Thailand, one of India’s top tourist destinations, will also see connectivity via Thai Airways and Thai Smile, with 36 and 21 weekly departures, respectively.
There is also significant connectivity between India and African countries with airlines such as Air Tanzania, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Rwand Air and Kenya Airways operating weekly flights.
Among US-based carriers, United Airlines and American Airlines will operate 28 flights and seven flights per week, respectively.