Centre extends ban on commercial international flights till September 30

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India has suspended international passenger flights till September 30 owing to the pandemic situation in the country, said Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Sunday.

According to the latest circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), international cargo flights and those approved by the regulatory will continue to operate. “Scheduled international flights might be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” DGCA said. Domestic air passenger traffic jumped to 5 per cent, which is 49 Lakhs in July, depicting sequential growth amidst a decline in corona cases.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of commercial international flights since March 2020. However, to bring back stranded Indians, the Indian government flew special international flights in one of the largest evacuations of civilians by a country called the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission.

The restrictions were later eased for certain countries with which India had an air bubble pact. Countries like the USA, UK, Kenya, UAE and Bhutan were part of the agreement. The agreement allowed countries to operate special international flights between their territories.

It was considered that the ban on commercial international flights would be lifted from August 31, but it extended till September 30 due to the threat of a third wave of coronavirus in the country.

The extension comes a day after the country recorded 45,083 new cases and 460 deaths in the last 24 hours as total cases reached 3.27 crores.

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