India will finally allow scheduled international flights to resume from March 27—two years after they were suspended following the Covid outbreak.
While expensive ‘air bubble’ arrangements ensured connectivity during this period, regular flight resumption was awaited for two reasons—more connectivity and choices, leading to lower fares as well. The Ukraine conflict will, however, cast its shadow on these expectations.
Top travel industry officials say regular flight fares will be much lower than exorbitant bubble charges, but they are unlikely to be close to their pre-pandemic levels as crude is now trading above $130-mark and rupee has weakened below 77-mark to the US dollar. Jet fuel prices globally are at a 14-year high.
Also, some foreign airlines are not overflying Russian airspace due to which they have to take longer routes. Some have dropped unviable routes like United suspending Delhi-San Francisco and Mumbai-Newark.