non-stop flight services, international travel companies, latest travel restrictions

Travel Companies Expect Heavy Rush As the US Lifts Travel Curbs

In a statement declared at the White House, an official said that when the United States is lifting travel restrictions to its fully vaccinated international travellers, travel companies are expecting a heavy rush, effective from the 8th of November.

The initiative will be an advantage for those who hold long-term traveller, business and work visas. In addition, Air India and American Airlines’ new and extra flights are assumed to offer better travel options. 

The officials have outlined that travellers need to be tested three days before the arrival of their travel, and the airlines will also be asked to establish a contact tracing system. 

All the covid shots approved by the food and drug administration and the World Health Organization would be accepted for air travel, said the US health authorities. At present, the vaccines include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Moderna. 

Between the 10th of November and 30th of December, the return economy class fares on non-stop flights from Delhi to Newark/New York are priced around Rs 90,000 to Rs 120,000. On specific dates, flight fares for return tickets are quite cheap, costing around Rs 70,000.

The White House announced the lifting of covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from across 33 countries, making it easier for travellers to fly between the two countries.

The exemption is for passengers who received their vaccination with World Health Organization or FDA-approved COVID-19 shots. Orders and guidance documents for the implementation of the new travel policy would be separately issued by the Joe Biden Administration. 

On the 4th of May, travel restrictions for Indian travellers came into effect during the time when the country was going through a surge in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to gain entry into the United States, these travel restrictions clearly mean that travellers holding tourist or business visas had to spend about 14 days outside India. But the restrictions, among others, do not appeal to US citizens and permanent residents. The classes for students who commenced after the 1st of August were allowed direct entry into the country.

Usually, between November and December are considered the busiest months for travelling into India from the United States, but there could be a rush on the outbound flights this year. 

Currently, two airlines, Air India and United Airlines provide non-stop flights services to the United States from Mumbai and Delhi. Starting from the 3rd of November, Air India is expanding its frequency from six to seven per week on the Delhi-Chicago route. From 31st of October, American Airlines is introducing new flight services between New York and Delhi and between Seattle and Bengaluru starting from 4th of January. 

The managing partner of LawQuest, an immigration law firm, Poorvi Chothani, said that “The decision to lift the travel restriction by the US government is a positive development, and presently it should be preceded by increasing visa services in India. Within the United States department, concerning the problems in staffing and covid-19 measures, restrictions on visa assistance have been established, which has affected applicants of tourists, work and business visas.” 

“For individuals who suit under the National Interest Exception policy will receive a new H-1B issued. Still, about thousands of individuals are approved and qualified to apply for the H-1B visas and were unable to join their new jobs in the United States. In India, enhanced visa services are vital to allow individuals to travel into the US,” she added.

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