The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday extended the suspension of scheduled international flights till November 30 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
“However, the international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the aviation regulator said in a circular. The order added that the extension of the suspension does not apply to international all-cargo operations and the flights it has approved. The circular came a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs extended the “Unlock 5” guidelines till November 30.
India instituted a lockdown in the end of March, which also included grounding both domestic and international flights. However, since June, the government allowed limited operations of Air India flights under the “Vande Bharat” mission for certain categories Overseas Citizenship of India, Persons of Indian Origin card-holders and other Indians who were stuck abroad due to the pandemic.
Further, India has established air bubbles with about 18 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Maldives, Kenya and Bhutan. This pact allows the operation of special flights between the countries.
Meanwhile, India’s coronavirus tally rose to 79,90,322 on Wednesday as it recorded 43,893 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 508 to 1,20,010. India’s active cases stood at 6,10,803, while the number of recoveries reached 72,59,509.