The Indian government and the DGCA announced that the international commercial passenger flights would remain suspended till April 30, 2021. Exactly a year ago on March 23, the government suspended the international commercial passenger flights to contain the COVID-19 virus from spreading in India. Everyone expected the government to begin regular international flights in the coming weeks, but the rising COVID-19 cases mean the government had no other option other than suspending the flights even further. That said, passengers looking to travel to other countries can choose Vande Bharat flights which are operational to 23 countries. The suspension does not affect international all-cargo flights and other flights that have DGCA approval.
COVID-19 Continues to Hurt Aviation Sector
Just as when everyone thought India is coming back to pre-COVID times on the back of the world's largest vaccination drive, things are getting bad again. The positive cases of COVID-19 are surging again in the country.
At the end of February, DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) said that commercial international passenger flights will resume on March 31, 2021, but with the situation becoming worse, the DGCA has announced the postponement of this directive to April 30, 2021. The international cargo flights will run as usual, while some DGCA-approved international flights can also run.
Passengers can travel to 23 other countries like Canada, United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and so on, in Vande Bharat flights run by Air India. Vande Bharat is the programme introduced by the Indian government to make travel possible for passengers stuck in other countries.
Several state governments already announced temporary lockdowns. The suspension on international flights for passengers could be extended beyond April 30, 2021.