India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) yesterday announced that International air travel to and from India will remain suspended till July 31. The circular released by DGCA stated, ‘In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has extended the validity of circular issued regarding Scheduled International commercial passenger services to & from India till 2359 hrs IST of 31st July 2020. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA.’
India Extends International Commercial Air Travel Ban Till July, 31
Just last week DGCA had announced that international Air Ticket travel will remain suspended till July 15 and yesterday the DGCA extended this till the end of July. An official in DGCA on the condition of anonymity said, ‘This decision has been taken after assessing the COVID situation in the country. Now the cases have started rising by almost 20,000 per day and it doesn’t look like the situation will improve till July 31.’ Anticipating a further rise in cases of coronavirus the Ministry of Civil Aviation has taken this decision.
However, this circular also mentions, ‘International Scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.’ This refers to finalizing air bubbles or air bridges with some countries. A senior official in Ministry of Civil Aviation told Times Now, ‘negotiations are underway with a few countries but nothing has been finalised yet.’ Indian Govt has received requests from concerned authorities in several countries including the US, France, Germany among others asking if they can be allowed to participate in the transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under Vande Bharat Mission.
As per the information provided by Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Puri India began Vande Bharat Mission to bring back around 190K stranded citizens but since 6th May nearly 445K people have already returned to India.
Hardeep Singh Puri also wrote on Twitter, “We began VBM to bring back about 190K stranded citizens. But when numbers grew manifold we ramped up the mission. Since 6th May, nearly 445K people have returned on VBM (170K) & chartered flights including foreign charters (275K). More are expected to return in Phase-4.”
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