International commercial flights to remain suspended till Oct 31: DGCA

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New Delhi (NVI): Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country, the suspension of scheduled international commercial flights to and from India has been extended till October 31, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said .

A circular released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated, “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 IST of 31st October 2020.”

The DGCA official release further stated that, the above restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specially approved by it.

Also, the aviation regulator stated that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.

The announcement came soon after the Ministry of Home Affairs released a fresh set of guidelines under the Unlock 5 in which it mentioned that international air travel of passengers will not be permitted in the current phase of Unlock, except as permitted by MHA.

Since March 23 the scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India due to the coronavirus induced lockdown.

However, special international flights started operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and also under bilateral air bubble arrangements with a few selected countries since July.

Earlier on September 29, the Civil Aviation Ministry informed that 5,834 repatriation flights were operated by the Air India Group under the Vande Bharat Mission till September 27.

-RJV