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India reopens to international flights after a two-year border shutdown

March 28, 2022
2 min read
Reflection of elephant's rider in Yamuna River
India reopens to international flights after a two-year border shutdown
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The South Asian nation has finally reopened to international flights after remaining shut throughout the pandemic as COVID-19 ravaged the nation’s economy.

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However, Indian business is bouncing back, and the government says it's time for its tourism industry to follow suit.

So, as of yesterday (March 27), regular flight operations resumed as ​​60 airlines from 40 countries were permitted to fly up to 1,783 weekly flights to and from India this summer.

Meanwhile, six Indian airlines -- including IndiGo and Air India -- have been green-lighted for up to 1,466 weekly international departures, bringing the total to 3,249 potential flights to/from India each week until the summer season ends on October 29.

“Today is a very important day,” said union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. “All regular international flights services resumed with full capacity from today.

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“During the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic, the international flights were being operated under the air bubble arrangements.”

One of the biggest winners of the reopening was Emirates, which said it was resuming pre-pandemic schedules of 170 weekly flights to nine of India’s largest cities including Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

Virgin Atlantic said it will launch a second daily service between London Heathrow and Delhi from June 1, 2022. "Coupled with its service from Mumbai, Virgin Atlantic will offer three daily flights from India making it the airline’s biggest flying program ever to India," the airline said in a statement.

An official for India’s Director General of Civil Aviation added: “Sixty foreign airlines of 40 countries have been allowed to operate 1,783 weekly flights to and from India. The airlines are from countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, the U.S., Germany, Singapore, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Russia, UAE, Australia, Qatar, Britain, Canada and Egypt.”

China, however, was apparently not on the list.

Featured image by Reflection of elephant's rider in Yamuna River at sunrise with Taj Mahal beyond. (Photo by Adrian Pope / Gettys)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees