The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the ban on international flights scheduled to and from India till May 31, 2021. The announcement was made via a circular posted on Twitter on April 30 by the DGCA.
The circular made some exemptions on the operation of a few flights - such as scheduled international flights - which shall be allowed on select routes on a case-to-case basis.
The ban will also not apply to international cargo flights and operations approved by the aviation regulator.
The ban has been in effect since March 2020 when all the scheduled international passenger services were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak in India.
Some special flights were given permission to function under the Vande Bharat Mission from May 2020.
India had entered into air bubble arrangements with several countries to ease the evacuation process of stranded Indians.
The circular stated that international scheduled flights will be allowed on select routes.
India has signed air bubble agreements with 27 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Japan, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Germany, Oman, Canada, Iraq, France, Kenya, Kuwait, Nepal, Nigeria, Qatar, the Netherlands, Rwanda, the UK, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the Maldives, Uzbekistan, and the US.
Meanwhile, many countries have banned travel to and from India. And the list keeps growing every week. The second wave in India has daily infection cases soaring to 3.7 lakh per day, forcing many countries to temporarily halt operation of international flights to and from India.
The rise in the number of Covid cases has also led the numerous state governments to make it mandatory for all passengers to have a negative RT-PCR report in order to fly by air.