NEW DELHI: Indian and British carriers will continue operating 30 flights weekly till February 14, 2021. The government had earlier this year cleared partial resumption of flights to and from the UK from January 8 by allowing Indian carriers 15 weekly flights and a similar permission was given to UK carriers, till January 23, later extended to this month-end. The decision has been taken on the basis of the situation of the new and more infectious strain of Coronavirus in the UK.
“The frequency, 15 weekly by Indian and as many by British carriers, will remain till 11.59 pm (India time) of February 14, 2021. The other terms and conditions remain unchanged The current approval is up to January 30,” said a senior DGCA official.
India had suspended flights to and from the UK on December 23, 2020. At that time, 67 flights per week were operated by four airlines — British Airways (29), Air India (23), Virgin Atlantic (8) and Vistara (7) — between London and 10 Indian cities including Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Goa, Amritsar and Kochi under an air bubble agreement. Before December 23, 2020, almost 2,000-2,500 passenger used to fly to India daily from the UK on the 67 weekly flights (66 from London Heathrow and one from Birmingham).
Flights were allowed to partially resume on January 8, 2021, and to ensure following of stricter Covid testing norms only 30 weekly flights were initially allowed to and from the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The health ministry had issued very strict norms to minimise the chances of the more infectious UK strain from spreading in India.