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India extends suspension of int'l passenger flights till Feb 28
International flights to/from the country were banned by India on March 23, 2020 when covid began spreading. Thereafter in May the Government launched the Vande Bharat mission to repatriate Indians stranded abroad and made country-to-country air bubble arrangements for essential travel. Currently, India has air bubble arrangements with over 30 countries. The ban on scheduled flights imposed on March 23, 2020 was about to be lifted last December when the pandemic situation eased but the quick transmission of Omicron around the world prevented the flights from taking off.

NEW DELHI, Jan 19: India on Wednesday extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till February 28 in view of the continuing covid pandemic.

It said that the ongoing flight operations under the country-to-country bubble arrangements and the Vande Bharat mission will continue. The cargo flights are also exempt from the ban.

An official statement by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) states that, "The authority has decided to extend the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 23:59 hrs IST of 28th February 2022."

It added, "In order to manage the impact of covid, the Government of India has placed several restrictions in the country which also affect the aviation industry. The situation is likely to continue for some time."

On December 9 last, modifying its order of December 1, the DGCA had extended the suspension of the flights till January 31, 2022.

The December 1 notification had said, "In view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new Variants of Concern, the situation is being watched closely in consultation with all stakeholders and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passengerservices shall be notified in due course."

International flights from/to were banned by India on March 23, 2020 when covid began spreading in the country. Thereafter in May the Government launched the Vande Bharat mission to repatriate Indians stranded abroad and made country-to-country air bubble arrangements for essential travel. Currently, India has air bubble arrangements with over 30 countries. The ban on scheduled flights imposed on March 23, 2020 has continued since.

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