Published on : Wednesday, January 19, 2022
India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has just announced that the current ban on international scheduled flights will extend till 2359 hrs IST, February 28, 2022. The civil aviation body has also clarified that current flights under travel air bubble arrangements and Vande Bharat flights would remain unaffected from the ban. All such flights would continue to operate as per the ongoing arrangements. Cargo flights would also be exempt from the extended ban.
An official statement by DGCA states that, “The authority has decided to extend the suspension of Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 28th February 2022.”
It has to be noted that scheduled international passenger services have stayed barred in the country from March 23, 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic first spread across the world. Subsequently, a number of repatriation flights were launched under the Vande Bharat mission in May. India also entered into air travel bubble arrangements with a number of countries to ease essential travelling in the time of the pandemic. India, currently, has travel bubble arrangements with around 32 countries.
Earlier, in December 2021, when the COVID-19 number were low in the country, India was gearing up to restart scheduled passenger flights from December 15. The date was subsequently moved to January and has now been extended again to February, 2022, as Omicron infection numbers surge in the country.