The government of India has extended the suspension of scheduled international flights till September 30, 2021. However, Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) and other flights under Air Bubbles will continue and people eligible as per government norms can fly to and from India. India currently has Air Bubble arrangement with 28 countries.
“This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). International scheduled flights maybe allowed on selected routes by competent authority on case by case basis,” the DGCA order states.
It may be recalled that all scheduled international flights were suspended on March 23, 2020.
Air India has issued an updated schedule of Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights to/from various countries. As of August 28, 2021, under VBM, Air India Group has operated 32,143 flights and carried 4,094,771 passengers. Inbound Flights numbered 16,068 with 2,403,955 passengers while there were 16,075 Outbound flights carrying 1,690,816 passengers.
VBM flights out of India (September 16-30, 2021)
September 16: Chennai-Singapore, Chennai-Colombo
September 18: Delhi-Colombo
September 19: Mumbai-Singapore
September 20: Delhi-TelAviv
September 21: Chennai-Colombo
September 22: Amritsar-Rome
September 23: Chennai-Colombo, Chennai-Singapore
September 25: Delhi-Colombo
September 26: Bengaluru-Singapore
September 27: Delhi-TelAviv
September 28: Chennai-Colombo
September 29: Amritsar-Rome
September 30: Chennai-Colombo, Chennai-Singapore
VBM flight arrivals into India (September 16-30, 2021)
September 16: Rome-Amritsar, Singapore-Chennai
September 17: Colombo-Chennai
September 18: Colombo-Delhi
September 19: Singapore-Mumbai
September 21: TelAviv-Delhi
September 22: Colombo-Chennai
September 23: Rome-Amritsar
September 24: Colombo-Chennai
September 25: Colombo-Delhi
September 26: Singapore-Bengaluru
September 28: TelAviv-Delhi
September 29: Colombo-Chennai
September 30: Rome-AmritsarAir India Flights to/from Saudi Arabia:
|Departure/Arrival City||Start Date||End Date||Frequency|
|August 2, 2021||October 25, 2021||Monday|
|August 7, 2021||October 30, 2021||Saturday|
|August 3, 2021||October 26, 2021||Tuesday|
|August 4, 2021||October 27, 2021||Wednesday|
|September 5, 2021||September 26, 2021||Sunday|
|September 2, 2021||October 28/29, 2021|
|September 3, 2021||October 29/30, 2021|
Note that these guidelines are being pursued on a pilot basis and will be reviewed in due course.
British Airways to resume Chennai-Heathrow flights: According to a tweet by Chennai Airport, starting August 31, 2021, British Airways will resume operations on London Heathrow Airport-Chennai route. The airline schedule is:
Flight out of London: Sunday, Wednesday & Friday
Flight out of Chennai: Monday, Thursday & Saturday
British Airways extends flexible booking: British Airways has extended its flexible booking policies. If you’re due to travel before August 31, 2022, you can change your booking without any change fees, or request a voucher which can be used for travel at any time up until September 30, 2023.
ECDC list of risky/safe countries: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued a list of risky and safe countries to travel within the European Union.
Green: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania (except for Bucharest)
Orange: Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland (except for the region of Uusimaa, which is all red), half of Belgium, half of Germany, half of Italy, Malta, most of the Netherlands, Norway (except for the region of Vestland, which is all red), Slovenia, some parts of Denmark.
Dark Red: France’s Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, several Greek islands, Portugal’s Madeira, Cyprus, Italy’s Sardinia, Ireland’s Connaught and Ulster.
Face masks mandatory in the US until January 18, 2022: Fully vaccinated people in the US using public transport such as airplanes, trains, buses, airports, and train stations must wear a face mask until January 18, 2022. The earlier directive by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that vaccinated travellers are exempted from the mask requirement has been rescinded.
Australia to introduce Agricultural Worker Visa: Australia’s government has announced that Agricultural Worker Visa will be introduced from September 30, 2021. This is pursuant to the need for more working staff in meat processing, fisheries, forestry, and other similar industries.The new visa will help workers from 10 Southeast Asian Nations to work in Australia, a pathway to permanent residence. However, it is not clear which countries have been chosen for the program. The visa headcount has also not been announced yet.