India extends ban on scheduled international flights till September-end

The ongoing suspension on international flights to and from India is extended till September 30, the government issued a notification on Sunday. This was in continuation of a previously issued notice dated June 26, 2021 regarding Scheduled International commercial passenger services.

However, this extension doesn’t apply to international all-cargo operations and flights, especially approved by the DGCA. International Scheduled flights can be allowed in case of an exception, such as on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis, as per the advisory. Overall, the guidelines apply to all domestic and Foreign scheduled airlines operating to and from India. The notification was issued from the office of Director of Civil Aviation. “This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. However, International Scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis,” stated the circular. The Indian government banned international commercial flights since March 23, 2020, to check the spread of the Covid-19 infection. It eased the restrictions on flights in certain countries with which India has had an air bubble arrangement during the past year.

The air bubble pact between the two countries allows the operation of special international flights by the national carrier between their territories. India has formed air bubble pacts with around 25 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, Netherlands, France, Germany, Qatar and Bhutan. Earlier, the scheduled international flights were suspended until August 31, said the circular issued by the DGCA on July 30, 2021.