India extends international passenger flight ban till 28 Feb amid Omicron surge

Scheduled international flights have been suspended since 23 March, 2020. However, special passenger flights have been operating between India and approximately 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with them

Press Trust of India January 19, 2022 16:00:06 IST
India extends international passenger flight ban till 28 Feb amid Omicron surge

A health worker collects a swab sample of a traveller at Ahmedabad airport. PTI

New Delhi: The suspension of scheduled international passenger flights in the country has been extended till 28 February, aviation regulator DGCA said on Wednesday.

Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since 23 March, 2020. However, special passenger flights have been operating between India and approximately 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with them.

In a circular on Wednesday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated: "The competent authority has decided to extend the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 23.59 hrs IST of 28 February, 2022."

This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flight specifically approved by the DGCA, it mentioned.

Fights under air bubble arrangement will not be affected, it noted.

The DGCA had on 26 November, 2021 announced that India will resume scheduled international passenger flights from 15 December, 2021.

Just a day later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA to review its decision in wake of the rising concerns of the COVID-19 variant Omicron.

On 1 December, 2021, the DGCA revoked its 26 November decision without saying how long the suspension of scheduled international flights continue.

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