India decides to resume regular international flights from Dec. 15 after 21 months

India will resume regular, scheduled international flights from December 15 after a gap of almost 21 months, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced in New Delhi on Friday, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM)

Normal international flights into and out of India were suspended on 23rd March last year following the global outbreak of COVID-19. However, depending on the pandemic situation both in India and flight destinations, limited “bubble” flights were introduced late last year.

Air bubble arrangements are temporary measures for the global movement of passengers pending the resumption of scheduled flights. India currently has air bubble agreements with 31 countries, including the UAE and four other GCC countries.

In an order issued by Neeraj Kumar, Director of Regulation and Information at the DGCA, the current ban on scheduled international flights has been extended till midnight on December 14. The ban was to have expired on November 30.

The order categorizes flight destinations as countries not at risk, countries at risk with bubble arrangements, and countries at risk without bubble arrangements with India. The UAE is among countries not at risk. Therefore “full capacity entitlements as per bilateral air service agreement” will be allowed with the UAE, according to the announcement.

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