The government announced on Tuesday that it has extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights till April 30, 2021. International commercial passenger flights were suspended on March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. International flights have remained suspended since then.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a circular noted, "However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,"
The circular has clarified that the suspension is not applicable on international all-cargo flights and on those flight operations which were specifically approved by the DGCA. This means that the flights operating under the bilateral air bubble agreements with select countries will continue to run.
Earlier, the DGCA had notified that international passenger flight operations will resume on March 31 but now this date has been extended to April 30, 2021.
Currently, India has bilateral air bubble pacts with 27 countries. These include countries such as Japan, the US, the UK, France Germany, etc. The government also has been operating special repatriation flights under the 'Vande Bharat Mission' since May 2020 in order to bring stranded Indian back to the country.
All flight operations were suspended on March 23, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Since, then domestic flight operations have resumed but International commercial passenger flights have remained suspended.