The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday further extended the ban on international flights till August 31 due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. Earlier, the DGCA banned international flights till July 31 but extended it on Friday.
The DGCA however pointed out that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a “case to case basis” in its circular. International passenger flights were suspended in India from March 23 last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
International cargo flights were allowed to operate though the ban was extended on commercial international flights. Special international flights were operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangements with selected nations from July 2020.
India has air bubble pacts with 24 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France.
Aviation companies continue to face losses as Covid-19 continues to derail the revival of the aviation industry as well as the travel and tourism industry as cases continue to rise in several parts of the world despite the US, the UK and several nations in the European Union (EU) vaccinating its citizens at a faster pace.