New Delhi: The Centre has decided to resume scheduled international flight services in India from March 27 after a two-year hiatus following a decline in coronavirus cases in the country, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said on Tuesday.

Scheduled international flight services are suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the pandemic.

However, special international flights have been operating between India and 37 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements.

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday, “After deliberation with stakeholders and keeping in view the decline in the COVID-19 caseload, we have decided to resume international travel from March 27 onwards.”

Air bubble arrangements will also stand revoked thereafter, he said.

“With this step, I am confident the sector will reach new heights,” Scindia said.

Just 3,993 fresh coronavirus infections — the lowest in 662 days — were recorded in India on Tuesday, according to the Union health ministry.

In a statement, the MoCA said that international operations from March 27 will be subject to strict adherence to Union health ministry guidelines that were issued on February 10.

“After having recognised the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India from March 27, 2022, i.e. start of summer schedule 2022,” it said.

The suspension of scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India, thus, stands extended only up to 23:59 hrs (Indian standard time) on March 26, 2022, and air bubble arrangements shall accordingly be extended to this extent only, the MoCA said.

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