Government extends suspension of scheduled international flights till Feb 28

The government on Thursday (January 28) extended a ban on international scheduled commercial flights to/from India till February 28 in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The DGCA circular said that the suspension will not affect the operation of international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it.

“However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added.

India has formed air bubble pacts with around 24 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.

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selected countries since July.

Scheduled domestic flight services were suspended in India during March 25-May 24 period last year due to the lockdown. Currently, Indian carriers are permitted to operate a maximum 80 per cent of pre-COVID domestic flights.

The DGCA circular also said that the suspension does not affect the operation of international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it.

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