The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday extended the suspension of commercial international flights till April 30. The restrictions, however, do not apply to international all-cargo flights operations and flights that have been specifically approved by the DGCA, an order issued on Tuesday said. International flights may be allowed on select routes on a case-to-case basis.
International flights were suspended in March 2020, after a nationwide lockdown was imposed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic breakout. In May 2020, the government launched the Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate Indian stranded abroad. The mission currently is in its 10th phase.
In the process of gradual resumption of international flights, India signed transport bubbles or air travel arrangements with countries that allowed two-way resumption of commercial passenger services.
At present, international flight services are allowed between India and 27 countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan.
“Even before we began Vande Bharat Mission we brought back our people from Wuhan, Tehran & Rome. Then we launched VBM on 6 May 2020 & have so far facilitated repatriation & International travel of more than 67.9 lakh people from around the world,” civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri recently tweeted.