The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights till December 31. However, the DGCA notification, titled ‘Travel and Visa restrictions related to COVID-19’, stated the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator.
“In partial modification of circular dated 26.6.2020, 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 December 31, 2020,” the DGCA has stated in the circular.
“However, International Scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis,” the notification added.
Due to the pandemic, international commercial passenger flights were suspended from and to India since March 23. The order was supposed to expire on November 30.
Since May, special international flights are being operated under the Vande Bharat Mission. India also has ‘air bubble’ arrangements with more than 21 countries, since July, in which passengers can fly to those countries without any problems other than observing the quarantine rules in the respective countries.
The countries with which India has such agreements include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, the UAE, UK, Ukraine, and US.
(With inputs from agencies)