New Delhi: The coronavirus-induced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till May 31, aviation regulator DGCA said on Friday.
"However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added.
— DGCA (@DGCAIndia) April 30, 2021
Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with selected countries since July.
India has formed air bubble pacts with around 27 countries including Kenya, Bhutan and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.
The DGCA circular also said that the suspension does not affect the operation of international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it.
The order from the DGCA came on a day when India reported the highest ever single-day spike with 3,86,452 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,87,62,976 on Friday (April 30), as per data by the health ministry.
The country's total COVID-19 caseload has now increased to 1.87 crore (1,87,62,976), of which, 30.79 lakh (30,79,308 ) are active cases. India has also witnessed 2.08 lakh (2,08,330) coronavirus-related deaths.
India has been recording over three lakh cases every day for over a week now. India has added about 7.7 million cases to its total caseload since the end of February, when its second wave picked up steam, according to a Reuters tally. In contrast, it took India nearly six months to add the previous 7.7 million cases.