Ban on scheduled international commercial flights extended to August 31

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 31, 2020 Published on July 31, 2020

The ban on scheduled international commercial flights has been extended till August 31 this year. Earlier the ban was till July 31.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a statement that the ban will not apply to international all-cargo flights and flights which have been specifically approved by it.

While scheduled international flights have been out on a hold since March, the government has allowed domestic and international airlines to operate repatriation flights to bring back Indians and send foreigners stuck in India back home due to the Covid-induced lockdown.

The government has entered into bilateral agreement with the United Arab Emirates, France and Germany to allow their carriers to fly to India and carry back their citizens. In addition, US carriers have also been given permission to operate some flights to India.

The statement added that over 2,500 repatriation flights by foreign carriers to uplift stranded passengers to/from India have been approved.

In a statement, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSIMA), Mumbai said that it saw 21 flight operations between July 22-31 this year. “CSMIA catered to a total of 3,059 passengers which include 1,185 from Newark, US, 660 from Paris, France and 1,214 from Frankfurt, Germany,” the statement said.

Air India, Air France and Lufthansa were among the airlines that operated on these routes, the airport added.

It remains to be seen whether there will be any further extension of the ban on scheduled international commercial flights. The government has been categorical in saying that scheduled international commercial flights will commence when domestic flying reaches 50-55 per cent.

However, recently, the government capped domestic flying at 45 per cent of the airlines’ capacity in the pre-Covid period till November 24, implying that scheduled international commercial flights to begin operations was still some time away.

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Published on July 31, 2020
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