Scheduled international flights to remain suspended till February 28, says DGCA
However, flights under air bubble arrangements will continue.
Scheduled international commercial flights to and from India will remain suspended till February 28, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday.
The announcement was made amid a high number of coronavirus cases in the country. On Wednesday, India registered 2,82,970 new Covid-19 cases and 441 deaths.
The curbs will not apply to all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA. Flights under air bubble arrangements can also continue as before.
On November 26, the civil aviation regulator had decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger flights from December 15. However, the decision was rolled back following the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
India has detected 8,961 cases of the Omicron variant till Wednesday, according to the Union health ministry.
On December 9, the DGCA announced that international passenger flights to and from India will remain suspended till January 31. The suspension has now been extended till February 28.
India had suspended both domestic and international flights at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.
However, since June 2020, the government allowed limited operations of Air India flights under the “Vande Bharat” mission for certain categories like Overseas Citizenship of India, Persons of Indian Origin card-holders and other Indians who have been stuck abroad due to the pandemic.
Subsequently, restrictions were eased in a phased manner as India entered into air bubble agreements with several countries. Under a bilateral air bubble agreement, both countries can operate to and fro flights with some restrictions.
Currently, India has air bubble agreements with 35 countries.