The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on November 26 extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial flights till December 31. The DGCA said select international flights on limited routes will continue to run as per the specific approval granted by the DGCA. The suspension comes at a time when India's COVID-19 caseload increased to 92.66 lakh, including 1,35,223 deaths.
"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 December 2020," a notification from the industry regulator said.
The DGCA further mentioned that the suspension will not hamper operations of international all-cargo operations and flights approved by it. International scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes by the competent authority on case to case basis, the DGCA added.
The DGCA had on October 27 extended the suspension of international commercial flights till November 30, 2020.
All international commercial flights have remained suspended since March 25 when the Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic. However, Indian airlines have been permitted to operate special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May.
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Additionally, the government has established air bubbles with several countries, under which airlines from both countries are allowed to operate a specified number of flights between cities.
As per the latest update, India now has an air travel bubble arrangement with 21 countries, namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Netherlands, Canada, Iraq, Kenya, Oman and Ukraine.The Ministry of Civil Aviation had released guidelines on who can travel out, or travel to India, under the repatriation and travel bubble flights. A complete list of the guideline, specific to each country, can be seen here.