India extends travel ban to another month


If you were having any plans to travel to India to visit your family or friends, it might have to wait for another month as the Indian government has extended the ban on international commercial flights till 30 June.

On Friday, May 28, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) made the announcement through a circular, as the conditions in India remain unsafe for international travelers.  Initially the travel restrictions were to end on May 31 after a 14-month gap, but DGCA has extended to another month to gauge the situation and decide on extending the restrictions or opening it partly.

However, these restrictions relate to commercial flights only. Dedicated cargo flights, flights under the 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 amid the pandemic.

India currently has a bilateral air bubble agreement with about 28 countries, which include countries such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, Uzbekistan and the US.

While there is a bilateral agreement, several countries have banned or imposed restrictions on flights from and to India due to the recent surge in covid-19 infections in the country.

Countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and UAE had earlier in April banned travel to and from India due to the rising number of infections as a result of the second wave of covid-19 in the country.