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DGCA extends ban on international commercial flights till Oct 31

The Central government had banned the operation of international flights on March 23 last year to contain and control the spread of Covid-19.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Directorate General of Central Aviation (DGCA) has decided to extend the ban on scheduled international commercial flights till October 31, considering the Covid-19 scenario.

“In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the subject cited above regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of October 31, 2021. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA,” the notice read.

In a notification issued on Tuesday, the DGCA, however, said: “This restriction will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the regulator.”

The aviation regulator added that scheduled international flights might be allowed on selected routes on a case-to-case basis.

The Central government had banned the operation of international flights on March 23 last year to contain and control the spread of Covid-19.

Flight restrictions, however, were later eased under air bubble arrangements with certain countries. India has formed air bubble pacts with about 25 countries. The country has been operating Vande Bharat flights to many countries over the last year.

The notice also stated that the international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.

In August, the DGCA had extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights till September 30.

Meanwhile, the number of new Covid-19 cases was recorded at below 20,000 (18,795) in the country after 201 days today, taking India’s caseload to 3,36,97,581, while the number of active cases declined to 2,92,206, the lowest in 192 days.

As many as 18,795 fresh Covid-19 cases were registered in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll due to the viral disease climbed to 4,47,373 with 179 more fatalities, the lowest in 193 days, according to the Union health ministry.

The number of daily fatalities was recorded at 154 on March 19.