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India Bans International Flights Scheduled Until February 28

The suspension of planned global passenger flights has now been prolonged until February 28, according to the DGCA, the nation’s aviation regulator. According to the latest ruling, the DGCA has opted to prolong the ban on scheduled foreign commercial flights within India until February 28. From March 23, 2020, planned foreign passenger planes have been banned in India.

Nevertheless, below air bubble agreements made with them, unique passenger planes ran between India and roughly 40 nations starting July 2020. India currently has air bubble contracts in place with 35 countries, including the United States, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Bhutan, Ethiopia, France, Finland, Germany, Japan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kenya, Mauritius, Maldives, Netherlands, Nepal, Nigeria, Qatar, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.

“This prohibition does not relate to global all-cargo operations or flights that the DGCA has specifically permitted. On the other hand, flights covered by the Air Bubble agreement will be unaffected, “the notification said.

Flights were not prohibited under the air bubble agreement, although India designated some nations as “at-risk.” The list includes all countries of Europe, including the UK, Brazil, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, China, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Congo, Israel, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Zambia.

“The relevant authority has agreed to extend the restriction of planned worldwide commercial passenger services from and to India until 2359 hrs IST till February 28, 2022,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced in a circular issued on Wednesday.

The variation initially found in South Africa dated November 24, 2021, Omicron came to India via international travellers, putting global air travel on the radar. The initial cases of Omicron were international travellers, prompting Delhi and West Bengal to call for a ban on global flights from Omicron-affected nations.

The restriction on planned global commercial passenger planes was originally implemented on March 23, 2020, in response to the Covid-19 issue and has been in effect since then. Eventually, as the situation improved, the government struck bilateral air bubble pacts of nations, allowing passengers from such nations to travel by air.

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