In a new order passed by the Government of India, international flight ban has been extended till 31 December by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The planes will fly only on select routes on a case-to-case basis.
The restrictions, however, are not applicable to international all-cargo operations and flights specially approved by the DGCA, it added. The extended suspension comes at a time when the country’s COVID-19 tally has spiked up indicating second wave of the pandemic. The count of fatality due to the virus has reached to 135,223.
The notification titled, Travel and Visa restrictions related to COVID-19 sais, “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 December, 2020”.
The aviation regulator had earlier extended the suspension of international flight operations till November 30 and similarity allowed planes to fly on select routes. However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under the bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangements with selected countries since July.
India has formed air bubble pacts with around 18 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.