India continues to see a significant increase in cases of coronavirus, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has announced his plan to extend the blanket ban on international flights till July 31.
As a result of a massive rise in coronavirus cases in India, the concerned authority has decided that the scheduled international flight services to/from India shall remain suspended until July 31, at 23.59 IST.
According to DGCA, the ban will not apply on the flights which have been approved by the DGCA. However, there is some concern about the possibility of ‘Travel bubble‘ flights from Europe, Canada, the USA and the Gulf States.
However, the concerned authority may allow international scheduled flights on selected routes, on a case-by-case basis.
International Flights Are Prohibited in July
India announced that they will extend the ban on international flights for an additional two weeks. This statement comes after many international carriers have expressed a desire to start flight operations in India. The DGCA announced the extension of this blanket ban from its Twitter account, with this announcement they have stopped all the international flights to/from India.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had recently stated that they have received requests from authorities in several countries, including the US, France, Germany, among others, requesting that their air carriers be allowed to participate in the transportation of passengers along the lines of the Vande Bharat Mission conducted by Air India. These requests will be reviewed.
Recently, Air India flights from Mumbai to France were suspended by French authorities due to which there were last-minute cancellations leading to many passengers complaining of harassment.
Citizens Stranded Abroad
The citizens stranded abroad and those in the country who normally stay overseas had hoped for a resumption of international flights by mid-July. It now appears that those operating the Vande Bharat Phase 4 services, would be the only aircraft to take off. Private carriers are also allowed to assist with repatriation missions this time.
As per the released circular, the concerned authority has allowed international flights on selected routes but that clause complies with the previous update and no airline has been permitted to resume services to India from any other country.
What are Travel Bubbles?
Today, Business Insider India confirmed that the Indian government was in talks with different nations to allow for international travel through ‘bubble’ agreements. Since late June, bilateral bubbles agreement has been proposed between India and other countries, but nothing has materialized yet.
With the ban in place until August, the travel bubbles will be the only way for stranded citizens to take commercial flights to or from India. Due to the continuous growth of coronavirus cases in India, the European Union has banned flights from India to break the chain of coronavirus. To keep a track on virus spread, IATA Released Free Interactive Map For COVID-19 Travel Restrictions. This map gives you a rundown of countries-imposed travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, the Indian government has decided to ramp up their domestic flight services to 45% of the original capacity.