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Canada Lifts Ban On Direct Flights From India

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Following months of a ban from Transport Canada, direct flights between Canada and India are back.

Due to a huge influx in coronavirus cases earlier this year throughout India and the surrounding region, Transport Canada made the decision back in April to halt all direct commercial and private flights from India and Pakistan to Canada until further notice.

According to Air Canada’s website, there are direct flights available between New Delhi-Vancouver and New Delhi-Toronto available to book for travelers.

Panoramic aerial day light, blue skyline view of central New Delhi near central park Connaught please, New Delhi

Statement From Transport Canada

In a post on their official Twitter page, Transport Canada announced that, “Beginning at 00:01 EDT on September 27, direct flights from India can land in Canada with additional public health measures in place.”

Building in downtown Toronto with CN Tower on background - Toronto, Ontario, Canada. direct flights are available from New Delhi to Toronto

Requirements For Travel To Canada From India

To board the direct flights from New Delhi to Toronto and Vancouver, all travelers who are eligible to enter Canada are required to show proof of a negative Covid molecular test, taken no later than 18 hours prior to their flight departure from New Delhi. Travelers must take the test from the approved lab called Genestrings Laboratory.

The testing lab and waiting lounge is located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building in Terminal 3 (International arrivals/departures) of Delhi airport. You can schedule your test here.

Swaminarayan Akshardham complex indian temple in New Delhi, India

Testing For International Travel

If a traveler has tested positive for Covid anytime between 14 and 180 days before their scheduled departure, they can show the positive molecular test result from a certified lab in India in lieu of taking the required pre-departure test for Canada. Travelers must also be fully vaccinated in order to travel, which means that they’ve been given the full dose of one of the vaccines which are currently approved by Health Canada.

All passengers are encouraged to double check with their airlines if they wish to confirm any other documents required for travel. In addition, make sure to upload your required travel documents to ArriveCAN (either via the website or through the app), as airlines will be requesting that information prior to departure.

These testing requirements apply to all travelers ages 5 years and older.

December 2017: New Delhi, India- View at the arrival hall in Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India

Confusion Around Direct And Indirect Flights From India

On the Twitter post, there was some confusion amongst travelers as to how/where/when they should take their pre-departure Covid test if they have any scheduled stopovers.

According to the Government of Canada website, travelers who “depart India for Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada.”

The airline staff will be checking travelers required health documents before departure to Canada. You can read more about the official guidance on traveling from India on the Canadian government website.

medical mask and covid test on a table

Air Canada’s New Routes

Currently, the only direct routes from India to Canada are available on Air Canada. After months of suspended flights, airlines resumed their services for a number of popular international and domestic routes to connect Canadians with some of their favorite destinations around the world.

happy couple relax on balcony terrace, on vacation in Europe

Travel Restrictions To Canada From International Destinations

Starting September 7th, visitors coming from international destinations via air must be fully vaccinated in order to travel to Canada for non-essential reasons. A pre-departure molecular test (PCR or RT-LAMP) must taken no later than 72 hours before travel, with a negative result. Once in Canada, travelers may be subject to a Covid molecular test on arrival, although it is not guaranteed. This is listed as a “randomized arrival test” on the government website.

If you’ve been selected to take the on arrival test, travelers must take the test as directed on their day of arrival to Canada. Travelers will not have to wait at the arrival airport for the results – they can head to their final destination (this includes any local connecting flights). Arrival tests are free of charge.

Landscape of downtown Vancouver in Twilight Time

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