India extends ban on international commercial flights till July 15

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2020

The ban on scheduled international commercial passenger flights has been extended till July 15. The ban was earlier till June 30.

Domestic and international flights were banned on March 25. While limited domestic operations started on May 25, normal international flights are still not allowed.

In a circular on Friday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the latest restriction will not apply to international cargo flights and flights especially approved by the DGCA. This special dispensation has seen several airlines including German airline Lufthansa and Dutch airline KLM operate flights from India to ferry their citizens back.

Bilateral bubbles

The government’s decision to extend the ban on international commercial passenger flights comes days after it said it was looking at the prospects of establishing individual bilateral bubbles with the US, France, Germany and the UK. “These are destinations where demand for travel has not diminished. Bilateral decisions, pursuant to negotiations, are expected to be taken soon,” the Civil Aviation Ministry had said in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Air India and domestic airlines are operating flights abroad to bring back Indians from various parts of the world.

In the first three phases of the Vande Bharat Mission, around 875 international flights were scheduled for operations from over 50 countries across five continents. Government sources said that so far more than 700 of these flights have reached India, repatriating around 1,50,000 Indians. The remaining 175 flights under Phase III are expected to reach in the coming days, sources said on Thursday.

Published on June 26, 2020

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