Scheduled international commercial flights to and from India will remain suspended till “further orders”, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Monday.
However, the restrictions will not apply to all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator. Flights operating under air bubble arrangements will also continue as before.
On January 19, the civil aviation regulator had extended the ban on international flights from January 31 to February 28 as coronavirus cases were rising in the country.
Earlier in November, the civil aviation regulator had decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger flights from December 15. The decision, however, was rolled back a day later after the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the country.
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
At present, India has air bubble agreements with 36 countries.