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No direct passenger flights from India to Canada for another month

india to canada flights
Although the ban on India to Canada flights continues, there are other ways for international students to enter the country. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via AFP

India to Canada flights will not run until September 21, the Canadian government announced on Monday (August 9).  The ban on direct passenger India to Canada flights will continue for another month, save for cargo, medical and military flights.

If you’re planning to start your Canadian study programme and need to be on campus, you may have to consider an indirect route. “During that period, passengers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route will need to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada,” says Transport Canada’s website.

There are more regulations if you’ve previously tested positive for COVID-19. You must show “proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test conducted between 14 and 90 days prior to departure, instead of a negative COVID-19 molecular test.” “This proof must be obtained in a third country before the continuation of the journey to Canada,” Transport Canada advised. “You might need to seek entry and stay in a third country for at least 14 days.”

india to canada flights

Last year, Canadian nationals wearing facemasks queue up to check-in before boarding a special flight for New Delhi to eventually reach Canada during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar on April 19, 2020. Source: Narinder Nanu/AFP

The ban on India to Canada flights has been in effect since April 22 and was originally set to end on July 27, before it was extended to August 21 in the first round. This repeated extension will unfortunately keep Indian students out of the country for another month even if they have received a study permit for the new semester in late August.

The Canadian government repeatedly extended its ban in line with its observation of India’s COVID-19 situation.

“While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world,” a statement from Transport Canada said on Monday.

“The government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases the risk of exposure to Covid-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others,” the agency added.

Alternative to direct India to Canada flights

Due to the lack of flights directly into Canada, Indian students may only get in the country via third-country travel. You can do this as long as you provide a negative COVID-19 test result from your point of departure, and have sufficient resources to fund costly tickets and possible quarantine.

Do note that if you’re departing from India, you may not gain entry or transit in certain countries. Plus, you have to choose countries and transits where COVID-19 testing are available.

The same goes for your itinerary, transit options and entry requirements for third countries — all of this needs extremely careful planning. Find more tips and guidance from our previous coverage here.