India extends ban on international flights till April 30

INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP

India has extended the ban on international commercial flights till April 30, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced.

The authority said special flights approved by designated authorities, flights for the evacuation of Indian citizens abroad and bilaterally negotiated "air bubbles" will continue to operate.

"An international scheduled flight may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis," the DGCA said.

 International flights were suspended at the end of March last year as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

India currently has bilateral air bubble agreement with about 27 countries, which include countries like Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, Uzbekistan and the US.

The new guidelines have come as India recorded a surge in new cases of coronavirus. In the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported 40,715 new COVID-19 infections, taking the cumulative total since the onset of infections to 11.69 million. Deaths rose by 199 in a day to total 160,166.

 

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