Ban on international flights extended till Nov 30, travel under air bubble to continue

As per a recently released circular by DGCA, the ban on scheduled international flights will be extended till November 30. Earlier, the overseas flights were suspended till October 31 under the Unlock 5.0 guidelines. However, government will continue to operate international flights under the Air Bubble pact with various countries, including the US, UK, UAE and more. In total, government has an agreement with 17 different countries to ease the travel ban and allow free-flow of international flights from both the sides.

The scheduled international flights to and from the country have been under suspension since March 23. Apart from international flights under Air Bubble pact, government is undertaking Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate stranded Indians from countries where Air Bubble Agreement is not yet established.

India is also operating cargo flights and domestic flights to facilitate travellers’ and goods movement across the country. While the domestic flight services was also under ban, government gradually reopened the domestic routes in a calibrated manner, initially allowing 35 percent capacity of actual schedule.

Currently, domestic flights are running at 65 percent capacity of the original schedule. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has approved 12,983 domestic flights for the winter schedule, 44 per cent lower than the number of domestic weekly flights during the last winter schedule. The winter schedule began on October 25 and would go on till March 27. During the previous winter schedule, a total of 23,307 flights were allowed in a week.

As for the Air Bubble agreement, India had initially established travel bubbles with countries like the United States, Germany and France. Since then, India has formed agreements with 17 nations in total including countries like Canada, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Japan and more.