The travel and tourism industry suffered a sudden setback due to the third wave at the end of December 2021. But with the decline in Covid numbers, airline officials confirm that the movement of passengers has started to increase.
“Since this week, there have been a host of relaxations that could boost international travel. The removal of mandatory home quarantine and RT-PCR testing for all travelers other than those from the UK, as well as a reprieve from rapid PCR testing hours before departure for Dubai at the airport, will provide relief to passengers extra hassle,” said airport manager C Pattabhi.
The central government had issued revised guidelines for international arrivals last week, removing the mandatory seven-day home quarantine for those arriving from abroad and the need for them to undertake an RT-PCR test on the eighth day at from February 14. – the section (2% of the total number of passengers on the flight) must undergo random tests after arrival at the airport. They will submit their samples and be allowed to leave.
Scheduled international flights had been suspended in India from March 23, 2020, two days before a nationwide lockdown was imposed. After three months, the flight movement under bubble arrangements has started between India and Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, La France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands. , Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan.
In November 2021, the Center decided to resume regular international flights from December 15. But the Omicron has thrown a stone in the pond, and following multiple revisions, the resumption of scheduled international flights has been suspended until February 28. departures and seven international arrivals in Kolkata. But with the relaxations, if scheduled flights resume soon, international travel will boom rapidly,” an airport official said.
Kolkata airlines welcomed the relaxations. “Things are slowly opening up and the future looks brighter for the aviation industry. Ridership and number of flights have also increased after the easing of restrictions on Delhi, Mumbai flights. Now if the State is easing restrictions on flights to and from Bengaluru, this will further boost domestic travel,” said Rahul Wadhwa, Chairman of the Airline Operators Committee in Kolkata.
At present, around 28,000 to 34,000 passengers daily in and out of Kolkata on around 260 flights with a load of around 70-80%. Last December there were around 50,000 passengers on some 390 flights until the third wave halted travel.
Anil Punjabi from the Federation of Travel Agents of India (East) said: “I know travelers who have been avoiding international travel for months to avoid RT-PCR and home quarantine stipulations. Now that most of the stipulations have been removed, they will also begin to travel.