The government in India has extended the suspension on international scheduled commercial flights till October 31 owing to the coronavirus diseases (Covid-19) pandemic. The latest circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) continued to keep international cargo flights and those approved by the regulator to operate.
The DGCA also said that scheduled international flights might be allowed on selected routes on a case to case basis.
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, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Qatar and Bhutan.
India was considering lifting the restrictions on international commercial flights on September 30. However, it extended the ban in the face of a looming threat of the third wave of infection and the rising cases of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 in several countries.
Even as the restrictions on international air travel continued, India allowed operating special flights on specific routes, especially to repatriate stranded citizens.