International passenger flights suspended till July 15, may allow some on case-to-case basis: DGCA

NEW DELHI: India could allow schedule international commercial flights on some routes next month. While extending overall suspension of these regular passenger flights to 11.59 pm of July 15, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in an order Friday: “International scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case to case basis.”
The circular says: “Scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India will remain suspended till 11.59 pm of July 15. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. However, international schedule flights may be allowed on selected routes on case-to-case basis.”
Schedule international passengers flights were suspended on March 22. However, passengers have been flying in and out of India on Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights and charters operated by foreign countries and now corporates also. While 5.1 lakh Indians abroad have registered to return home, till now 3.6 lakh have done so under VBM that started on May 6. VBM-4 will kick off on July 3.
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Countries like the US, France, Germany and UAE have started asking India to allow their airlines to operate flights like AI’s VBM. This Tuesday, the aviation ministry had said in a statement that it is considering “travel bubbles” between India and the US, France, Germany and UK that have strong demand for travel. “We have received requests from concerned authorities in several countries including the US, France, Germany among others requesting that their air carriers be allowed to participate in the transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under VBM. These requests are being examined.”

“As we move from controlled and managed aviation evacuation of our citizens in different parts of the world and foreign nationals from India, we are now looking at the possibility of establishing bilateral arrangements… As we contemplate further opening up in response to demands, we are looking at the prospect of establishing individual bilateral bubbles, India-US, India-France, India-Germany, India-UK. These are all destinations where demand for travel has not diminished. Final decisions pursuant to negotiations are expected to be taken soon,” the ministry statement of Tuesday had added.
In Video:International flights to remain suspended till July 15: Centre

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