International passenger flights to remain suspended till April 30
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International passenger flights to remain suspended till April 30

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday extended the suspension on international commercial flights till April 30

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday extended the suspension on international commercial flights till April 30.

However, international passenger flights under air travel bubble arrangements will continue. "In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the above subject regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 30th April, 2021," it said.

The circular said that the restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. Passenger air services were suspended on March 25, 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19. Domestic flight services, however, resumed from May 25, 2020.

Amid the suspension, special international flights have been permitted under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral "air bubble" provisions with select countries since July. India has also constructed air bubble pacts with several nations including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France, among others.

Under an air bubble pact between two nations, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.

Amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued new guidelines for effective control of the infection. The guidelines will be effective from April 1 to 30. The MHA said, “The main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains achieved in containing the spread of COVID-19, which was visible in the sustained decline in the number of active cases, continuously for about five months.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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