In view of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Indian government has extended the ban on domestic and scheduled international commercial passenger flights till August 31.
However, in a statement, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said this restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator, which includes flights under Vande Bharat Mission and those allowed through “Transport Bubble” with certain countries.
“Specific Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued accordingly,” DGCA said on Friday.
The DGCA added that during the suspension period of international passenger flights due to COVID-19 situation in India, more than 2500 repatriation flights by foreign carriers to uplift stranded passengers to and from India have been approved.
It added that under the Vande Bharat Mission, in total Air India and Air India Express have uplifted 2,67,436 stranded passengers and other charters have uplifted 4,86,811 stranded passengers between May 6 to July 30, 2020.
“To allow gradual movement of passenger traffic during the COVID-19 situation, ‘Transport Bubble’ agreements have been signed with the USA, France, and Germany.
Recently, ‘Transport Bubble’ agreement has also been signed with Kuwait to uplift stranded passengers both to and from India.
More similar arrangements are likely to fructify and ease passenger movements from different countries,” the DGCA said.
Due to the COVID situation several countries are reluctant to open their borders and allow commercial flights at this point of time.