Considering the current pandemic situation and newfound COVID-19 strain, the Indian government on Wednesday announced a further suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till January 31, 2021. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has stated that these restrictions are not applicable on special flights and international air cargos but only on passenger flights.

The circular released by the DGCA on Twitter reads, “International scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis.”.

The circular also mentioned that in the wake of the new Coronavirus strain found in the UK a few days back, all the flights between India and UK have been suspended till January 7. This new strain is more contagious than the original virus therefore almost all the countries in the world have suspended flights from the UK to contain the spread.

The whole world went into a lockdown because of the highly contagious Coronavirus and since March 23, international passenger services have been suspended in India. In May, the government introduced special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded citizens.

In July, India created a bilateral “air bubble” with selected countries. Since then, India has created air bubble pacts with 24 countries including the UK, UAE, US, Kenya, Bhutan and France among others.

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