Covid-19: Suspension of international flights extended till September 30

Cargo operations and flights on certain routes allowed by the DGCA have been kept outside the purview of the restrictions.
Scheduled commercial flights between India and international destinations are restricted since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic struck. (Representational photo)
Scheduled commercial flights between India and international destinations are restricted since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic struck. (Representational photo)
Updated on Aug 29, 2021 01:34 PM IST
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By | Written by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Centre on Sunday extended the suspension on international scheduled commercial flights till September 30 owing to the coronavirus diseases (Covid-19) pandemic.

The latest circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) continued to keep international cargo flights and those approved by the regulator to operate.

The DGCA also said that scheduled international flights might be allowed on selected routes on a case to case basis.

The Indian government banned international commercial flights since March 23, 2020, to check the spread of the Covid-19 infection. It eased the restrictions on flights in certain countries with which India has had an air bubble arrangement during the past year.

The air bubble pact between the two countries allows the operation of special international flights by the national carrier between their territories. India has formed air bubble pacts with around 25 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, Netherlands, France, Germany, Qatar and Bhutan.

India was considering lifting the restrictions on international commercial flights on August 31. However, it extended the ban in the face of a looming threat of the third wave of infection and the rising cases of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 in several countries.

Even as the restrictions on international air travel continued, India allowed operating special flights on specific routes, especially to repatriate stranded citizens.

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Monday, July 04, 2022