Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flight services till March 31. Scheduled international flight operations were suspended from March 23 last year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

"In partial modification of circular dated June 26, 2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity... Regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India till 23.59 pm IST of March 31, 2021," the DGCA said in a circular.

The restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specially approved by the aviation watchdog.

Over the months, the Centre, which is the highest executive authority in matters related to the pandemic, has eased restrictions in most of the sectors of the economy but not the international flight operations.

Amid the suspension, special international flights have been allowed under the Vande Bharat Mission since May last year and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with select countries since July.

India has formed air bubble pacts with several countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France, among others.

Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.

(With inputs from agency)