India extends ban on international flights till March 31
India on Friday extended its ban on international flights in view of the coronavirus pandemic till March 31.
"In partial modification of circular dated June 26, 2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the subject cited above regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hours IST of March 31, 2021," said a circular issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in this regard.
"Dedicated cargo flights and flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts with select countries will continue to operate," it added.
The announcement comes in the wake of the country recorded 16,577 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday. While the country's infection tally went up to 11,063,491, a total of 12,179 fresh recoveries took the total number of people discharged to 10,750,680, according to the health ministry.
Meanwhile, the flights that aoperating under the bilateral air bubble agreements with select countries will continue to run.
Currently, India is in a bilateral air bubble agreement with about 27 countries, in which flights are being operated with preconditions due to the pandemic. The countries include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, Uzbekistan and the US.
International commercial passenger flights have been suspended since March 23, 2020, when the pandemic forced the country into lockdown.