Will try to restart international flights before August: Civil Aviation Minister

New Delhi/May, 23: Following up the government’s decision to resume domestic air services, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday efforts are on to try and start some percentage of international passenger flights before August this year.It is to be noted here that thousands of Non Resident Indians (NRIs) are stuck in the country and there have been a lot of demands to resume international flights.

Puri, through a Facebook live programme, was addressing concerns of people about domestic and international travel. He said that the government will be able to facilitate NRIs, who ordinarily reside abroad but are struck in India to return to where they live, much before international air travel is resumed.

Talking about the repatriation exercise the minister said that he was able to meet that objective of ensuring Indians who are now living in India but are ordinarily resident abroad, such as in the EU, Canada, the US, Japan and Australia, to return even before international civil aviation opened up through increasing number of Vande Bharat flights.

Puri said that foreign nationals who are stranded in India due to the suspension of international air travel have already been returning in the evacuation flights, which are being organised by their respective countries.

While responding to a question whether NRIs will be able to return by August or September, the minister said, “We must have a more ambitious goal. Why not start by mid-June or June end or July”.

The minister added that if the situation remains predictable, he was confident of starting a good part of international travel, if not all of it, much before August-September.

Puri reiterated that domestic passengers who do not have the symptoms of the Covid-19 and have a green status on the Aarogya Setu app need not be quarantined after reaching their destinations.

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