India extends ban on international flights till March 31 midnight

at 8:23 pm

New Delhi (NVI): India today further extended the ban on international commercial flights till March 31 midnight, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

The ban is not applicable to international cargo operations and flights and those approved by the DGCA.

“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 March, 2021,” the DGCA said in a circular.

However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis, it added.

Notably, the ban on scheduled overseas flights was to end on February 28 after an eleven-month gap.

All international travel remained suspended to and from India since March 24 last year as the national lockdown restrictions was imposed. The government has been operating special repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May, 2020 to bring stranded Indians back.

The international flights are also being operated under bilateral air bubble agreements with several countries since May.

India has formed air bubble pacts with 24 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under the pact between the countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.