DGCA extends ban on scheduled international flights till July 31
Dedicated cargo flights, flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts with select countries will continue to operate, the civil aviation watchdog said.
The Indian government has extended the ban on international commercial flights till 31st July, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular on Wednesday. The ban on scheduled overseas flights was to end on 30 June after a 15-month gap.
"In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, 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 hrs 1ST of 31st July, 2021," the DGCA circular said.
However, this restriction will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator.
Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since 23 March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While domestic flights resumed in May, international travel remained suspended as Covid-19 cases remained at high levels.
But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May last year, and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with selected countries since July.
India has formed air bubble pacts with 27 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories. However, a few countries like the US.
However, international travel remains muted worldwide as new variants of Covid-19 continue to emerge.
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