Posted on Sep 1st, 2021 by Priyanka Jadhav, Last updated Mar 2nd, 2022, 2 comments
Earlier on Sunday, the Indian government announced the extension on the suspension of scheduled international flights till September 30, 2021. This news comes after the unfortunate news of active cases having been increased to over 3.6 lakhs. In the last 24 hours, India has reported approximately 45,000 new cases and around 500 deaths.
Scheduled international flights have been suspended since March 23, 2020, due to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. Even after 18 months, due to the rise of Covid-19 and its variants, there is no answer as to when international flights will resume. However, under Vande Bharat Mission and other flights that have been operating by India for the past year will still continue and people eligible as per the government rules will be able to fly to and from India.
The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an order on Sunday extending the ban on international commercial flight service to and from India till the Indian time, 11.59 pm on September 30. He stated that “These restrictions won’t apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA.” He furthermore added that “International scheduled flights will only be allowed to fly on selected routes by the authority on a case-to-case basis.”
At present, India has bilateral agreements with 28 countries and they are 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, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uzbekistan. Although there are some countries that haven’t been on board with having an air bubble arrangement with India are Costa Rica, Egypt, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, South Africa, Venezuela, etc.
Earlier this year, India had been contemplating lifting the air travel ban on international commercial airlines on August 31. However, the impending threat of the third wave of infection and the rising cases of variants of Covid-19 in several countries made them decide on extending the ban. While the second Covid catastrophic wave surge began mid-April, around 20 countries decided to impose restrictions such as flight suspensions from India and tightened the rules and restrictions.
Now that the second wave is receding, a few countries like Switzerland, France, Germany, Maldives, Qatar and a few other countries have started lifting restrictions and urging their citizens to travel to India with all safety precautions. Even though, the restrictions on international travel continue, India has also started operating particular flights for specific routes only. The aviation regulator added that this move was also taken to relocate a person to their country of origin by the authorities.
The DGCA has extended the suspension of flights many times since 2020 and will continue to do so until the situation of the coronavirus pandemic is contained.
Priyanka Jadhav is a travel writer, who is inclined to explore different cultures and countries. When she is not writing, she is either reading fiction novels or surfing the internet for the next best place to add to her bucket list. Her interests piqued at a young age when she traveled across India and witnessed a variety of cultures, languages, foods, and people. If you're craving for an adrenaline rush, or need an instant travel update - Priyanka has a way with words to help you in every aspect possible. Bring quirky articles and the latest travel updates your way through MyTicketsToIndia, she aims to provide travelers with the necessary information possible.