On Tuesday, September 28, in India the Director-General of the Civil Aviation (DGCA) further extended the ban on scheduled International flights till October 31, 2021.
Nevertheless, international all-cargo flights and services with the DGCA’s permission will remain in operation. The initial ban on International flights was forced in March 2020 when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
“This restraint shall not employ to international all-cargo services and flights explicitly approved by DGCA,” read a DGCA statement.
The flight regulator stated that scheduled international flights will operate on preferred routes by the qualified authority on a case-to-case basis. This signifies that Vande Bharat flights and flights that are presently flying under air bubble alliances with select nations will operate as usual.
Since August 2020, India had signed bilateral air bubble ties with close to 25 nations to retain the flight services active. Some nations with which India has such an alliance are France, Bhutan, the USA, United Kingdom, Kenya, and the UAE.
Rules concerning national/domestic flights, on the other hand, have been eased. The Ministry of Civil Aviation on September 18 had enabled airlines to work at a maximum capacity of 85 percent of their pre-COVID domestic. However, the upper limit was earlier capped at 72.5 percent.