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DGCA extends suspension of scheduled international flights till February 28

The Indian government has extended the ban on international commercial flights till February 28, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular on Wednesday.

DGCA extends suspension of scheduled international flights till February 28-dnm
New Delhi, First Published Jan 19, 2022, 1:02 PM IST

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) extended the ongoing suspension on international scheduled commercial passenger flights to and from India till February 28. However, flights under Vande Bharat Mission and other flights under air bubbles will continue and people eligible as per government norms can fly to and from India on them.

The government issued a notification on Wednesday in continuation of a previously issued notice dated June 26, 2021 regarding Scheduled International commercial passenger services.

“The authority has decided to extend the suspension of Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 28th February 2022,” reads an official letter of Civil Aviation.

Meanwhile, cargo flights will also continue to operate as per the previous arrangements.

“This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA,” the order says. It adds that “international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.”

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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