India restricts international flights until end of 2020

27 November 2020 (Last Updated November 27th, 2020 12:19)

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India has extended the ban on international flights until 31 December following a new order passed by the Government of India.

India restricts international flights until end of 2020
India has been operating special international flights under Vande Bharat Mission. Credit: John McArthur/Unsplash.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India has extended the ban on international flights until 31 December following a new order passed by the Government of India.

According to the DGCA announcement titled ‘Travel and Visa restrictions related to Covid-19’, only a few flights on select routes will be allowed to operate and this must be done on a case-to-case basis.

This restriction is not applicable to overseas all-cargo operations and flights approved by DGCA.

Earlier this month, DGCA extended the ban on scheduled international passenger flights until 30 November.

However, under air bubble arrangements, people can travel to foreign countries.

Under an air bubble pact between two nations, nationals of both countries can travel in either direction.

India has currently entered into such pacts with around 22 countries.

These nations are Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and the US.

Since May, under the Vande Bharat Mission, India has been operating special international flights.

International flights have been suspended in the country since March to check the spread of Covid-19.

In August, DGCA banned wide-body aircraft operations until the end of monsoon at Kozhikode International Airport in Kerala, following the crash of an Air India Express plane that carried 191 passengers and crew on board. The crash killed 18 people.