Coronavirus | International routes will be opened case by case: DGCA

‘Scheduled commercial operations suspended till July 15’

June 26, 2020 05:53 pm | Updated 11:07 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File photo of Air India planes parked at the IGI airport in New Delhi.

File photo of Air India planes parked at the IGI airport in New Delhi.

While most international flights will remain suspended in the country till July 15, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday said it was considering re-opening some overseas routes on a case-by-case basis.

“Scheduled commercial passenger operations will remain suspended till 23.59 hours of July 15,” said the DGCA in a circular, extending its earlier restriction that was in force till June 30. It added, “international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case to case basis (sic).”

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While domestic flights resumed in the country from May 25, the ban imposed on international flights is in place for more than three months. The DGCA barred international flights from March 23.

Vande Bharat Mission

The only flights operating on international routes right now are those by Air India, and some domestic carriers, under the Vande Bharat Mission for repatriation of Indians. Some international airlines are also conducting relief flights to evacuate foreign nationals from India.

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The circular from the DGCA comes at a time when the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said it will enter into bilateral agreements with the U.K., the U.S., France and Germany for creating travel bubbles to allow passage for air travellers.

Recently, the U.S., France and the UAE raised objections over Air India’s special flights under the Vande Bharat Mission aimed at repatriation of Indians from around the globe. While the U.S. has sought permission to operate flights to India, France has objected to Air India ferrying passengers into the country from India. The UAE too is known to be in discussions with the Indian government and has discussed a “formula” that can be used to allow the airlines of the two countries to carry passengers.

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