International Flights: Amid speculation whether international commercial passenger flights will resume as part of  ‘Unlock 3’ which will come into effect from August 1, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday clarified that these flights will remain suspended till August 31. “The Government has decided to extend the suspension on the Scheduled International Commercial Passenger Services to or from India upto 2359 hours IST of 31st August,” an official statement said. Also Read - Breaking: India Extends Suspension of International Flights Till May 31 Amid Rising COVID Cases

“Specific Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued accordingly.” It must be noted that the restriction will not be applicable on all-cargo flights and other flights specially approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Also Read - DGCA Takes BIG Decision on Domestic Air Fares, Extends Pricing Cap

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19. Domestic flight services, however, resumed from May 25. Also Read - Air Travel to Get Costlier From April 1 As DGCA Hikes Security Fee. Details Here

During the suspension period, more than 2,500 repatriation flights by foreign carriers to uplift stranded passengers to/ from India have been approved, the statement said. Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India and Air India Express have uplifted 2,67,436 stranded passengers, and other charters have uplifted 4,86,811 stranded passengers during May 6 to July 30 period, it added.

As part of allowing gradual movement of passenger traffic amid the pandemic situation, ‘Transport Bubble’ agreements have been signed with the US, France, and Germany.

“Recently, ‘Transport Bubble’ agreement has also been signed with Kuwait to uplift stranded passenger both to/ from India. More similar arrangements are likely to fructify and ease passenger movements from different countries,” the statement said.

Such bilateral agreements allow operation of flights between the two countries subject to a set of regulations.