International Flights From India: Following a marked improvement in the COVID-19 situation, Canada has decided to lift a month-long ban on passenger flights from India. Earlier this year in April when the deadly second COVID-19 wave had hit India, Canada had banned all direct flights to and from the country. On September 24, Canada had extended the restriction on all direct commercial and private passenger flights from India until September 26. The date of reopening was postponed many times.
- Travellers must carry proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular test from the approved Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport, taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their flight to Canada.
- Prior to boarding, air operators will be checking the travellers’ test results ensuring they are eligible to come to Canada.
- Fully vaccinated passengers will have to upload the relevant information into the ArriveCAN mobile app or website. Those who are unable to meet these requirements will be denied boarding by the officials.
- Passengers travelling to Canada from India via an indirect route must obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.
For the unversed, all scheduled international commercial passenger flights to and from India will remain suspended till September 30. The ban was earlier extended till the end of August. Notably, scheduled international passenger flights were suspended in India on March 23 last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, special international flights were operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selected countries since July 2020.
India has established bilateral air bubble arrangements with 28 countries including the United States of America (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kenya, Bhutan and France under which special flights will be operated to 49 international cities. Under a bilateral air bubble pact, airlines of both countries can operate international flights with certain restrictions. They are said to be reciprocal, which means that airlines from both countries enjoy equal benefits.
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