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Omicron update: DGCA suspends international flights from & to India till Jan 22, 2022

The DGCA has announced the suspension of international flights to and from India until January 22, 2022 amid concerns of the spread of Omicron
Omicron update: DGCA suspends international flights from & to India till Jan 22, 2022
Omicron update: DGCA suspends international flights from & to India till Jan 22, 2022
  • The DGCA has said that the restriction shall not apply to international cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it
  • It has also said that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has announced the suspension of international flights to and from India until January 22, 2022 amid concerns of the spread of the highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 virus, Omicron. The DGCA has said that the restriction shall not apply to international cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it. The announcement comes as 9,419 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered in India in the last 24 hours and around two dozen cases of Omicron have been reported across five states.

“In partial modification of circular dated 26-11-2021, the competent authority has decided to extend the suspension of Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 31st January, 2022. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flight specifically approved by DGCA,” the DGCA said in an official order on Thursday.

International flights may be allowed on select routes: DGCA

The regulatory watchdog added that international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis. The DGCA also said, “In continuation to DGCA Circular No. 4/1/2020-IR dated 9.12.2021 on Travel & Visa Restrictions related to COVID-19, it is clarified to all concerned that all international flights under existing Bubble Agreements shall continue to operate till 31st of January 2022.”

Scheduled international flights have remained suspended since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. However, in November this year, the government had decided to resume scheduled international flights from December 15. The decision was revoked as cases of Omicron variant were reported. 

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Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said in the Rajya Sabha that the decision to resume scheduled international flights was taken in view of increased vaccination coverage across the globe. “However, in view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new variants of concern, the situation is being closely monitored and reviewed in consultation with other ministries, with regard to taking any further decision on the issue,” Scindia had said.

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