International Passenger Flights to Remain Suspended till November 30

NEW DELHI, Oct 28: The scheduled international passenger flights will continue to remain suspended till November 30 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced the extension of the suspension period on Wednesday. All scheduled international flights were suspended on March 23 when India first declared lockdown due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

“However, the international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the Indian aviation regulator said in a circular.  Some special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under the bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangements with selected countries since July.

India has formed air bubble pacts with around 18 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.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) circular also mentioned that the suspension would not affect the operation of international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it. The scheduled domestic passenger flights were resumed in India on May 25 after a gap of two months despite the prevailing pandemic situation.

(Manas Dasgupta)