The suspension of scheduled international flights caused by coronavirus was extended until 31 January, the airline regulator DGCA said on Wednesday.
“However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, scheduled international passenger services are being halted in India since March 23. However, since May, separate international flights have operated together under Vande Bharat Mission and since July within bilateral ‘air bubble’ agreements with selected countries.
With 24 countries, including the UAE, the US, the UK, Kenya, France, and Bhutan, India has established air bubble agreements. Through an air bubble agreement signed, special international flights among their regions can be conducted by both of their airline’s systems.
The DGCA circular also claimed that the termination did not impact the activity of all-cargo global operations and flights expressly authorized by the DGCA.
The decision to extend the temporary ban of flights between the United Kingdom and India was revealed in a tweet by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri. At his regular press conference here on Tuesday, the Minister referred to a potential small extension of the termination of flights between both the two countries.
“Thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly,” the Minister said.
A bubble agreement was formed between India and the UK under which Virgin Atlantic and British Airways from the United Kingdom and Air India and Vistara from India were allowed to operate flights between the two countries.
The proposal to immediately halt flights to or from the United Kingdom was made after the detection of a new, rather severe coronavirus mutation in Britain.
Covid Mutant Cases In India And International Flights:
The UK mutation of coronavirus has been identified in five new cases and resulted in international Flights suspension. This took the total number of such patients to 25. It was discovered that the highly contagious mutated version, which first appeared in the United Kingdom in September, arrived in India two days ago with travelers returning from the European country.
Over 60 flights were conducted between the two countries under the bubble agreement until the temporary suspension came into effect, carrying about 2,500 passengers.
The National Institute of Virology, Pune, discovered four of the five cases reported. The remaining one, the Ministry of Health said, was sequenced at IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology), Delhi.
At specified health facilities, all 25 people are being kept in isolation.