Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday extended the suspension of scheduled international flights to and from the country till August 31. However, this restriction will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.
“The government has decided to extend the suspension on the scheduled international commercial passenger services to/ from India up to 2359 hours IST of 31st August,” the DGCA said in a statement.
Earlier, DGCA had on July 3 extended the ban on international flights until July 31 after it was suspended till July 15. According to senior government officials, the ban was extended because it was felt that it would take some more time for India to prepare before it can resume scheduled international operations.
To allow gradual movement of passenger traffic during the Covid-19 health crisis, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had also announced ‘ Air Bubble’ agreements with the United States, France and Germany. Air France and American carrier United Airlines has operated limited flights to India from Paris and the US.
As of July 13, Air India and Air India Express operated 1103 flights bringing back 2,08,000 Indians under Vande Bharat Mission. “On many of these flights, we ferried back 85289 passengers to various countries across the world,” said Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal.
Puri also said that by Diwali this year, at least 55-60 per cent of pre-Covid domestic flights will be operating in India.
Domestic passenger flight services resumed in the country from May 25, two months after the announcement of the lockdown and suspension of all scheduled commercial passenger flights in India.
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