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Aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)  has extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flight services till March 31st, according to a circular issued yesterday.

Scheduled international flight operations were suspended from March 23rd last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis, said the circular.

The restriction will not apply to cargo flights and flights specifically approved by DGCA, it added. Amid the suspension, special international flights have been allowed under the Vande Bharat Mission since May last year and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with select countries since July.

India has formed air bubble pacts with several countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France, among others. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories




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