India extends ban on scheduled international flights

In view of the Covid-19 in India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the ban on international commercial passenger flights till the midnight of February 28, 2022.

According to the DGCA, this restriction will not apply to international freight flights. In view of the increasing epidemic corona case in the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made a fresh order saying that international flights to/from India will remain suspended till February 28, 2022.

The DGCA said that ‘flights under air bubble agreements will not be affected’. This order comes at a time when the world is facing a new wave of the Covid-19 latest variant Omicron.

 

International flights were banned on 15 January

In November 2021, the Indian government decided to resume scheduled international flight operations from December 15, 2021. However, the government withdrew its decision to resume scheduled international flights before January 15, 2022 due to the Omicron spread.

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International flights to India have been suspended since March 23, 2020, two days before the lockdown came into force in the country. The suspension was extended by allowing emergency international travel every month under air bubble agreements.

Countries under air bubble agreement

Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States are among the 28 countries with which India has a bilateral air bubble agreement for the operation of special international passenger flights.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kuwait, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan are also among the nations with which India has signed a bilateral air bubble agreement.

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It is pertinent to mention here that all international flights to/from India are suspended since March 23, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, since July 2020, special international passenger flights are being operated under the air bubble agreement with about 28 countries.

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