Delhi Airport
Delhi Airport Image Credit: Shutterstock

For two years now, the world has endured the coronavirus pandemic, changing our way of life. People have faced restrictions on movements and ability to mingle freely.

Now more so than ever, we have learnt the importance of simple measures such as proper hand hygiene, the effectiveness of wearing masks and how closed or crowded places can play a critical part in spreading the virus.

Key to our success over this past year, since vaccines became available and were distributed in first, second and booster jabs into as many arms as possible, is the growing percentage of protected people.

And now more than ever, we long to be able to visit friends and family, meet loved ones and simply be able to share precious moments where we have been kept apart for too long. While most nations have opened their borders, India too is following suit. After two years, India is to resume regular international flight operations from March 27. That day cannot come soon enough.

This is a date that has already been pushed back from December 2021 — that decision was rendered impractical because the Omicron variant was just emerging from South Africa and the full impact of its effects had not been properly assessed.

Caution from authorities

Yes, caution from authorities these past two years was also a valuable weapon in our fightback against coronavirus. Thankfully, all of our collective measures now mean that planes from India — air travel is gradually resuming to pre-pandemic levels worldwide — will be taking to the skies to link the nation with family and friends around the globe.

For many of us working and living in the UAE, this announcement might appear to be a little strange. We must be forgiven for forgetting that India and the UAE have benefited from a travel bubble that has allowed for flights between the two friendly partners for months now.

Gradually, over recent months, those air corridors spread to include direct flights between airports in India and places such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, some limited European Union countries and the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The resumption of a full schedule of international flights to all destinations — naturally the local public health regulations and restrictions in force by any country will be observed to protect everyone — is a move that is certainly to be welcomed. For too long this virus has kept us apart.