India extends flight ban till May end amid COVID-19 surge

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Hind Al Soulia – Riyadh – NEW DELHI — With a record increase in COVID-19 infections, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) here on Friday extended the ban on regular, scheduled international flights into and out of India till May 31 midnight.

With this, the ban on scheduled international flights that was imposed with the first wave of the pandemic last year has entered the fourteenth month. When COVID-19 infections declined late last year, there were expectations that regular flights may be resumed. But today’s DGCA order has put paid to such expectations.

Flights for evacuating overseas Indians, known as “Vande Bharat” flights will continue. Unless suspended by other countries temporary flying arrangements between specific countries, known as “air bubbles” will also continue.

“Restrictions shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA,” said the order signed by Sunil Kumar, Joint Director-General. “International scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis.” — WAM

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