COVID-19: Air Canada and Air India Resume Direct Passenger Flights from India to YVR

A Vancouver International Airport spokesperson said both Air Canada and Air India had direct flights from India that arrived on Monday.

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Direct passenger flights from India to Vancouver resumed on Monday, with Air Canada and Air India re-establishing their nine direct flights a week.


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This came after Transport Canada revealed on Twitter late Sunday that the ban on direct flights between the two countries due to COVID-19 concerns would be lifted at midnight. India is the source of the Delta COVID-19 variant that has completely taken over in BC and is more infectious than other variants.

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Transport Canada said travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test from an approved lab at the New Delhi airport no more than 18 hours before their departure. Travelers must be fully vaccinated and registered on the federal government’s ArriveCAN website or mobile app.

A spokesperson for Vancouver International Airport said a direct Air Canada and Air India flight had arrived from India on Monday.


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“Air India has another flight scheduled for the 29th and Air Canada has a flight scheduled for (September 28),” the spokesperson said.

“Air Canada and Air India have re-established their scheduled service to India, which includes three weekly flights through Air India and six weekly flights through Air Canada. This is the same schedule, for both airlines, as the pre-suspension ”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to the airport and airline industry. In 2019, YVR saw the arrival and departure of 26.3 million passengers. In 2020 that number was reduced to 7.3 million passengers and between January and August there were 3.1 million passengers entering or leaving.

A family’s trip raises questions about whether the direct flight ban had the desired impact.


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Hari Gopal Garg and his wife Komal Garg traveled from Toronto to India to adopt a girl, Kaveri, and were scheduled to return to Canada on April 25, three days after direct flights were banned.

The family decided to take a long trip home, traveling through two other countries, so that Garg could go back to work and resume their lives, he said.

Garg and his family began their journey on June 8, traveling from India to Paris to Mexico, before landing in Canada six days later. His trip included a three-day stay in Mexico and COVID-19 testing at each stop.

“We were very nervous,” he said Monday.

“You are contacting so many people along the way. You are changing flight. You stay in hotels. It is as if the government has created more ways to spread COVID. Otherwise, it could come straight away without having so many points of contact. “


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The family spent around $ 6,000 on the trip, including hotel stays. Otherwise, the trip would have cost them about $ 2,000.

“I don’t think the flight ban has helped at all,” Garg said.

“It created more problems for people who were genuinely traveling and had a valid reason. It created more problems, more money spent, and more mental stress. So, it didn’t solve any purpose. “

But Garg said he is “happy” that flights between the countries have resumed because there are a number of older people and families with children who may not have been able to make the long and expensive trip to Canada.

“I just hope that the government will make some rational decisions in the future without hidden political agendas,” Garg said.

“Think about the people who are hurting because of this and then make some wise decisions.”

Transport Canada announced in a press release last week an extension of the ban on all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until Sunday.

– with files from Maan Alhmidi and Hina Alam



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