Canada Considers Lifting India Flight Ban

Canada is preparing to start direct flights from India from September 27th and is currently testing out new…

Canada Considers Lifting India Flight Ban

Canada is preparing to start direct flights from India from September 27th and is currently testing out new protocols. At the moment, direct scheduled passenger services between the two countries continue to remain suspended. But that could change soon if the Canadian authorities are satisfied with the trial flights that took off from New Delhi for Canada on September 22nd. Let’s find out more.

Direct passenger flights between India and Canada could resume soon if new measures are deemed satisfactory. Photo: Getty Images

Direct flights could resume after five months

Direct passenger flights between India and Canada were suspended on April 23rd following the deadly second COVID wave in India. Canada has again extended the ban until September 26th, but this is to buy some more time to see if the new travel protocols are working.

On Tuesday, Transport Canada released the following statement,

“As a first step, on September 22, 2021, three direct flights from India will arrive in Canada and all passengers on these flights will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to ensure that the new measures are working.”

A lot depends on the Canadian authorities being satisfied with the test results of the passengers arriving on these flights. If everything looks in order, direct flights between the two countries could resume on September 27th.

dog on tarmac stops traffic at toronto airport
Transport Canada will test incoming passengers from three trial flights from India to see if the new measures are working. Photo: Getty Images

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Rules and conditions for traveling

According to Transport Canada, passengers boarding a flight from New Delhi will have to adhere to the following rules:

  • Travelers must have 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 direct flight to Canada.
  • Prior to boarding, air operators will be checking the travelers’ test results ensuring they are eligible to come to Canada, and that fully vaccinated travelers have uploaded their information into the ArriveCAN mobile app or website. Travelers who are unable to meet these requirements will be denied boarding.
Delhi airport
Passengers departing for Canada must get tested for COVID at Delhi’s IGI Airport only. Photo: Getty Images

It’s important to note that passengers must be tested at the approved lab at Delhi airport, as tests from any other lab in India will not be accepted.

Transport Canada has also laid down rules for anyone traveling to the country via an indirect route, stating,

“After the resumption of direct flights, travellers who are eligible to enter Canada who depart India for Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada.”

Good news for Indian travelers

Regardless of a direct connection, both India and Canada maintain strict protocols for traveling. In fact, non-essential travel is still discouraged by both countries. However, a direct flight connection could be a huge sigh of relief for many Indian travelers.

Canada traditionally sees massive arrivals from India as students, immigrants or just to visit family and friends. Prior to the pandemic, both Air India and Air Canada operated flights connecting India with Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR).

While international travel still comes with heavy regulations and constantly changing protocols, those looking to traveling to Canada from India will undoubtedly welcome a direct connection.

Source : Simple Flying More   

What's Your Reaction?


Next Article

When Will Starlux Airlines Take Its First Airbus A330neo?

Taipei-based Starlux Airlines is expecting its first Airbus A330-900neo early in 2022, paving the way for the airline’s…

When Will Starlux Airlines Take Its First Airbus A330neo?

Taipei-based Starlux Airlines is expecting its first Airbus A330-900neo early in 2022, paving the way for the airline’s expansion around Asia. The twin-aisle plane will bridge the gap between the airline’s existing fleet Airbus A321neos and yet-to-arrive Airbus A350s.

Starlux Airlines is expecting its first Airbus A330neo in February 2022. Photo: Airbus

High expectations for Starlux’s first A330neo

First reported by Executive Traveller, Starlux is anticipating its first A330neo in February and is eyeing initially operating it on Taipei – Singapore flights. The Airbus will come in a two-class configuration with Recaro’s CL 3710 seats in the main cabin and yet-to-be-disclosed seats in the business cabin.

However, given Starlux’s spectacular business cabin on its existing fleet of narrowbody Airbus planes, expectations are high for the A330neo business class product. Starlux only ordered the Airbus A330neo aircraft 12 months ago. The leased jets are coming from US-based Air Lease Corporation (ALC).

Starlux’s well-regarded business class cabin on its existing fleet. Photo: Starlux

A bumpy ride for Starlux

It has been a bumpy ride for the airline that launched less than two years ago. Starlux launched just as international travel was about to fall off the cliff. The airline operated its first passenger flights in January 2020. Two months later, Starlus was forced to suspend all flights.

It was three months before flights took off again. Fifteen months down the track, Starlux is flying to multiple destinations around Asia. However, frequencies are slight, often only once a week. Singapore, the proposed first A330neo destination, is only seeing one Starlux flight a week right now.

Starlux’s most visited destination is Macao. The airline currently operates five return passenger flights a week to Macao plus a further two freight-only flights.

Starlux aircraft in Taipei. Photo: Starlux

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Flying within Asia continues to lag other region’s recovery

Starlux will be betting on business improving by the time the first A330neo touches down in February. With proposed North American flights on pause, Starlux is sticking to flying around Asia. But intra-Asia flying is continuing to experience weak passenger volumes.

In July, 1.5 million passengers took an international flight within Asia. In contrast, 33 million passengers took an international flight within Asia in July 2019. According to the regional airline group, the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA), Asia is lagging behind other regions in terms of international air travel recovery.

“While other regions are easing restrictions on the back of successful vaccination roll-outs, borders in Asia still remain largely closed due to low vaccination levels,” said AAPA earlier this month.

Just over 7.3% of Taiwan’s population is fully vaccinated, and Taiwan’s border remains closed to most non-nationals. The country has also experienced a rolling series of soft lockdowns. For Starlux to fill its first Airbus A330neo (and its subsequent delivered aircraft), it will need movement restrictions in Taiwan and elsewhere around Asia to lift.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of industry pundits suggest Asia will be among the last parts of the world to lift border controls and travel restrictions. That indicates Starlux’s bumpy ride may continue for some time yet.

Meanwhile, Starlux also flagged to Executive Traveller the likelihood of its joining an alliance when more established. Given local rival Eva Air is a member of the Star Alliance, and China Airlines is firmly ensconced in the SkyTeam family, there are no prizes for which alliance Starlux might first flirt with.

But with oneworld members Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific also based in the North Asia neighborhood, is there room in the oneworld alliance for a third airline from the region?

Source : Simple Flying More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.