09 Dec Regular International Flights to and from India Suspended till January 31, 2022
New Delhi, India, December 09, 2021: Amid rising concerns over the coronavirus variant Omicron, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (“DGCA”), India issued a circular on Thursday, to announce its decision to extend the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India through January 31, 2022.
Commercial international flights were earlier suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak and the government had recently announced its resumption from December 15, 2021, after a hiatus of over 20 months. However, with the outbreak of the new variant in several nations, India has now suspended its plans for international flights resumption.
Special international flights have been operating under India’s Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selected countries since July 2020. India has formed air bubble pacts with around 32 countries, including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.
The expensive air bubble flights will remain the only option for travelers till regular flights resume. According to the health ministry guidelines issued last week amid the Omicron alarm, all passengers arriving from “at-risk” nations must compulsorily undergo PCR test and five per cent of passengers arriving from other countries would also have to take the test on a random basis.
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