India-Canada direct flights to resume on Monday
Canada has finally lifted the ban on direct passenger flights from India more than 5 months after it was imposed in April this year when the second wave of Covid-19 swept India. Air Canada is likely to operate the first direct flight between the two countries on Monday, whereas Air India will also resume services on the same day.
Making that announcement, Transport Canada tweeted, “Beginning at 00:01 EDT on September 27, direct flights from India can land in Canada with additional public health measures in place.” That time translates to 9.30 am IST.
“Travellers must have proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular test (RT-PCR) from the approved Genestrings laboratory at the Delhi airport, taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their direct flight to Canada,” it added. They will have to “present the test report with a QR code issued by this laboratory to the air operator before boarding”, an updated travel advisory from the Canadian government stated.
Those who “have previously tested positive for Covid-19 can present a positive molecular test report issued by a certified laboratory in India. The date of collection must be between 14 and 180 days before their scheduled departure to Canada”, it said.
“Airlines will refuse boarding to any traveller who’s unable to meet these requirements,” it stressed.
India’s high commissioner to Ottawa Ajay Bisaria welcomed the move and tweeted that it was “great to see a decisive step towards normalising air mobility” between the two countries. He added that they were “working with Canadian partners to further ease travel”.
The ban was lifted after test results of passengers who flew to Canada from New Delhi on September 22 aboard three Air Canada flights came out to be negative.
Prior to the ban in April, the two airlines were operating daily direct flights from India to Canada under an air bubble arrangement between the two governments.