Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the ban on scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India till December 31. "The restrictions shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA," the regulator said.
International scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis, it added. Earlier, the suspension on commercial international passenger flights was extended till October 31.
The government has been suspending scheduled international and domestic flights in India since March 23 when the first lockdown was imposed across the country.
After two months of long hiatus, domestic flights resumed operations on May 25 but international flights have continued to remain suspended. However, air passengers can still travel abroad or can come to India via air bubble arrangement.
Earlier, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that regular international flight services could be resumed when the domestic traffic would reach about 50-60 per cent and other countries would open up to international traffic.
Meanwhile, domestic air traffic has shown some improvement but it's still way below pre-Covid level.
The air passenger traffic in India has more than halved in October in comparison to the year-ago period. The civil aviation regulator said that Indian airlines carried 52.7 lakh passengers in October, which is 57.2 per cent less than the air passenger traffic recorded in the same month last year.