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Unlock 3: International flights permitted in limited manner, to further open up in calibrated manner

The government on Wednesday issued Unlock 3 guidelines. As part of the fresh guidelines, international flights will be allowed in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission, and further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 amid the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in the country. Since May 6, international charter flights have been operated by Air India under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded people reach their destinations. Private carriers have also operated a certain number of flights under this mission.

India had on July 16 formed bilateral air bubbles with countries like the US, Germany and France that allows airlines of both the countries in the pact to operate special international charter flights.

The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay and firing of employees in order to conserve cash.

India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

However, occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around just 50-60 per cent since May 25.

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