India extends ban on international flights until February 28

The Indian government has extended the ban on international commercial flights until February 28, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular on Thursday. The prohibition on scheduled overseas flights was to end on January 31 after a ten-month gap.

Dedicated cargo flights and those specifically allowed by the civil aviation regulator, such as flights under bilateral air bubble pacts with select countries, will continue to operate, the civil aviation watchdog said. A bilateral air bubble is a mechanism to resume flights between India and other nations with preconditions during the pandemic.

Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier on Wednesday, the DGCA had extended the restriction on flights between India and the UK up to midnight on February 14, 2021, to contain the spread of a mutant COVID-19 strain that was recently discovered in the UK.

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