India: International flights to remain suspended till July 15

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a circular on Friday extending the suspension on scheduled commercial international flight operations to and from India till July 15. The restriction, however, will not be applied on all-cargo flights and other flights specially approved services by the DGCA. “The competent authority has decided that scheduled international commercial passenger service to/from India shall remain suspended till 2359 hrs IST of 15th July 2020,” it said. On June 20, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that re-commencement of international flight services will depend on factors like ‘border acceptance’ norms in the arriving country and the traffic demand. That time, he hinted at the prospects of bilateral bubble arrangements, which will allow some international operations between countries. At present, healthy demand for evacuation flights have been witnessed in the North America-India sector. Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19, although domestic air services has resumed in a phased manner. Subsequently, domestic flight services resumed from May 25. At present, airlines are only allowed to deploy 33 per cent of their total capacity. Earlier in the day, Puri tweeted that in one month since recommencement of calibrated domestic civil aviation operations in the country “our skies & airports have been busy”. Around 18,92,581 passengers have flown so far on 21,316 flights across the country, he said. Last week, Puri had said that to ease domestic mobility and accelerate passenger traffic growth, the Centre will allow flights to more destinations. Nevertheless, these new flights and frequencies are likely to be within the 33 per cent capacity cap, he had said.

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