New Delhi: India on Friday extended the suspension on international commercial flight operations till June 30, 2021 in the backdrop of covid-19 crisis across the country.
“In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the above subject… regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India till 2359 hrs IST of 30 June, 2021,” the circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
However, the circular said that the Covid-related restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.
“In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the subject cited above regarding Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs 1ST of 30th June, 2021,” the DGCA circular read.
“However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis,” it added.
To arrest the spread of coronavirus in the country, passenger air services were suspended on March 25, 2020. However, as part of country’s unlock phase, domestic flight services were resumed from May 25, 2020.
The country currently has bilateral air bubble agreements with around 28 countries, which include — Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, Uzbekistan and the US.
Amid the second wave of the virus, many countries have banned travel to and from India. Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and UAE are countries which have temporarily suspended flight services with the country in April as the second wave of coronavirus, led by Indian-dominant variant, left the health structure thrashed. Now, as the situation slowly gets better, many of these countries have lifted the ban.
Meanwhile, in a major development, India on Friday reported its lowest daily total in 44 days at 1.86 lakh cases. Death toll, too, saw marginal decline even as the virus claimed 3,600 lives in 24-hour ending at 8am Friday.