India extends ban on all international flights till May 31

At least 21 countries have banned flights or imposed restrictions on travellers from India

April 30, 2021 03:16 pm | Updated May 01, 2021 08:15 am IST - Chennai, New Delhi

File photo for representation.

File photo for representation.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday extended the suspension on international flights from/to India till May 31.

Scheduled international flights have been banned in the country since March 23, 2020, though flights to foreign destinations are permitted under special bilateral air bubbles India has entered into with 27 countries.

The restriction would not apply to international all-cargo operations and other flights specially approved by the DGCA.

The suspension on flights comes in the backdrop of a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the second wave across the country, and also the ban or restrictions imposed on flights/travellers from/to India by at least 21 countries.

In an order on travel and visa restrictions related to COVID-19 issued on Friday, the DGCA modified its earlier order and said that the competent authority had extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India “till 23:59 Hrs of 31 May 2021”.

A couple of days ago, the Bureau of Immigration issued an advisory listing out countries, including Iran, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia, which had banned/suspended flights from/to India.

Many other countries such as France, Indonesia, United States, Israel, Singapore, etc. have imposed conditions on travellers or an advisory to their citizens asking them to avoid visiting India.

The United Kingdom has added India on its “Red List” and barred all travel from the country. It also made 10 days of hotel quarantine mandatory for all U.K. and Irish citizens coming back from India after suspending flights till April 30.

The Bureau of Immigration said that all the Indian carriers had also suspended their scheduled flight operations to countries which had imposed bans on the entry of Indian citizens.

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