The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday extended the ban on international flights till September 30 amid the coronavirus crisis. However, flights under the Vande Bharat Mission, for repatriation of Indians, and those under bilateral agreements with other countries will continue to operate.

In a circular, the aviation regulator extended its earlier restriction that was in force till August 31. “However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” it said.

While domestic flights resumed in India from May 25, the ban imposed on international flights has been in place for more than five months. The DGCA barred international flights from March 23.

Last week, the Centre had issued the standard operating protocol for international travel on non-scheduled commercial flights under the Vande Bharat Mission and air transport bubble arrangements.

Since July, India has established air bubbles with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Maldives. The government is negotiating such arrangements with 13 more countries – Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The Vande Bharat Mission began on May 6 and is currently in its fifth phase.

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