‘International flights from India may resume by year-end’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2021

₹90,000 cr to be invested for airports over a five-year period: Civil Aviation Secretary

Normalisation of international passenger flights from India is likely very soon and may happen by the end of the year, said Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal.

Investments totalling ₹90,000 crore will be made for airports over a five-year period, the Secretary further said while addressing a media briefing on Wednesday.

Of this, ₹20,000-22,000 crore will be invested by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), while the rest, about ₹58,000 crore, is expected to come from the private sector.

The Secretary’s announcement on possible early resumption of international passenger flights is important as scheduled flights to and from India have been under suspension since March 2020 to contain the spread of the Covid. The suspension was extended till November 30.

Air bubble

Limited international travel to and from India is, however, taking place under air bubble and air travel arrangements that the country has with around 30 countries, under which flights are operated for identified group of passengers, subject to specific conditions.

The countries with which India has air bubble and air travel arrangements include Germany, France, Canada, the UK, the US, Bangladesh, Japan, Nigeria, Qatar, UAE, Singapore, Russia, the Netherlands and Mauritius.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had recently said that he wanted normalisation of international flight operations, but the pandemic situation in certain parts of the world should also be kept in mind.

On the ₹90,000-crore investment that is expected to flow into the aviation sector in the next five years, the Secretary said that the sector will rebound and grow faster than earlier.

Scindia recently said that the Ministry plans to take the current number of airports in India from the current 136 to 220 in the coming five to seven years.

Published on November 24, 2021

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