India. New Delhi. Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the ban on all international flights until 31 July. The Civil Aviation Regulator also clarified that both cargo and flights approved by the DGCA on select routes will be allowed.
Plan for Unlock 2.0.
As the nation gets its Unlock 2.0 plan rolling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic more efficiently, India has also extended its ban on international flights. Flights will resume in a phased manner, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement earlier this week. After a long halt of 2 months, domestic flights resumed operations on select routes in May.
The Vande Bharat Mission.
To bring back their stranded citizens, India launched the Vande Bharat Mission on 6 May. This mission has now entered the fourth phase. Under the fourth phase, more than 500 flights are expected to be operational. Air India is gearing up to send 114 flights to various countries across the world which includes Canada, the USA, UK, and Australia. Other private airlines like IndoGo and GoAir will also have the opportunity to participate and operate flights to destinations like Qatar and Kuwait.
On 2 July, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Arvind Singh told reporters that the country was in an advanced stage of discussions to establish individual travel bubbles with the US, Canada, and several European countries. In a recent move, India also barred UAE airlines from operating repatriation flights. The move follows the UAE government-imposed curb on Air India and other private airlines, preventing them from carrying passengers to Dubai. However, a formal order has not been issued.
In the midst of the flight ban VFS Global, an outsourcing and technology services provider for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, said that visa application services will be available for specific categories for various countries.