India asks Canada to lift flight ban as Mississauga, Brampton residents look forward to travel
Published July 15, 2021 at 5:25 pm
India has asked Canada to lift the ban on direct flights from that country which means Mississauga’s Pearson Airport could be experiencing an uptick in air traffic as early as next week.
Ottawa’s ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan has been in place since April and the current extension is set to expire July 21.
The ban was imposed because of the massive outbreak of COVID-19 cases in South Asia earlier this year and over the fear of the spread of the Delta variant which originated in India.
So far, the Canadian government has not determined if it will extend the ban but an official request made through India’s High Commission in Ottawa could have some impact.
“We have pointed out to the Canadian authorities that there is a huge demand and inconvenience to both Indian and Canadian passengers, particularly students,” India’s High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria told the Hindustan Times. “As well, we have pointed out the dramatic recovery in India and the drop in cases.”
Before the ban flights from India to Canada were arriving at Canadian airports on a daily basis.
Because of the large South Asian population in Mississauga, Brampton and other parts of the GTA, Pearson Airport is a regular point of entry as well as a place of departure for travelers who have largely followed the government rules and stayed home even though they can be bypassed through indirect flights.
Anika Kumari of Brampton said she believes the flight ban was necessary but feels it is time to allow travel once again. She said she has Canadian relatives in India who have been patiently waiting to return.
“The ban did work, I think most people realize that,” she said. “But with the right precautions I believe travel can be done safely.”
Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health, said today that COVID cases have dropped dramatically in India adding that with the increase in numbers of people fully vaccinated it has created a safer atmosphere for travel.
Still, Dr. Loh said there are many factors to consider when dealing with the ban adding the decision rests solely in the hands of the federal government.
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