The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday extended the ban on international flights till August 31 in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, the DGCA had banned international flights till July 31.
However, the international flights already scheduled may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a "case to case basis". International passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The international cargo flights were allowed to operate despite the extension of the ban on commercial international flights. It may be recalled that special international flights were operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020.
Even some flights were operating under bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangements with selected nations from July 2020.
It is pertinent to mention that India has air bubble pacts with over 24 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, and France.
The Aviation companies have been facing losses as the coronavirus outbreak continues to derail the revival of the aviation industry as well as the travel and tourism industry.
The coronavirus cases have been rising in several parts of the world despite countries like the US, UK, and several nations in the European Union (EU) vaccinating its citizens at a faster pace.