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DGCA Extends Suspension on Scheduled International Passenger Flights Till May 31

People wearing protective face masks wait for passengers at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. (Picture for representation/Reuters)

People wearing protective face masks wait for passengers at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. (Picture for representation/Reuters)

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus-induced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till May 31, Indian aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Friday. “However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis," the DGCA added.

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the COVID-19 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.

India has formed air bubble pacts with 27 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.

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However, given the rise of cases during the second wave of COVID-19, many countries have banned flights from India under Air Bubble pact till situation improves. 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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first published:April 30, 2021, 13:24 IST