India extends the ban on international passenger flights amid the threat of a looming third wave of Covid-19 and the emergence of Delta variant of the virus in several countries.
India once again extended the ban on international flights until midnight of August 31, 2021, as per the circular issued by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday, July 30, 2021.
All scheduled international flights to and from India remain banned from March 23 last year in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions on international commercial flights were supposed to end on July 31, 2021.
The decision comes amid the threat of a looming third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergence of the Delta variant of the virus in several countries.
The DGCA, in its latest circular, said the ban shall remain in place till 2359 hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) of August 31, 2021. However, it shall not apply to cargo flights and those approved by the regulatory body.
"This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. However. International scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes by the competent authority on a case to case basis" the circular noted.
Despite the broader restrictions on international travel, certain flights were allowed to operate subsequently to repatriate stranded citizens or eligible cases.
India's Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) signed bilateral air bubble agreements with over 28 countries for the movement of eligible citizens in the wake of Covid restrictions. India signed mutual pacts with Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uzbekistan.
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