India Extends Suspension Of International Flights Till Jan.31 2022

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday decided to further freeze international travel until January 31 2022.

“In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of the circular issued on the subject cited above regarding Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 31st Jan 2022. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA,” a circular from the Indian Civil Aviation Regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation said.

However, the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specially approved by the regulator.

International scheduled flights may also be allowed on select routes on a case to case basis.

The scheduled international flights were supposed to start from 15 December, but keeping in view the nature of Omicron variant, the government has decided to hold the plan.

In the view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new variants of concern, the situation is being watched closely in consultation with all stakeholders and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services will be notified in due course,” DGCA has said earlier.

India had suspended international flights from 23 March 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic. However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble arrangements formed with approximately 28 countries.

Under an air-bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories with specific restrictions.

As of now, India has formed air bubble pacts with around 32 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France.