According to a circular recently published by the DGCA, the ban on scheduled flights will run until November 30. Previously, flights abroad were suspended until October 31 under the Unlock 5.0 guidelines. However, the government will continue to operate international flights under the Air Bubble Pact with various countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and others. In total, the government has reached an agreement with 17 different countries to relax the travel ban and allow the free flow of international flights on both sides.
Regular international flights to and from the country have been suspended since March 23. In addition to international flights under the Bubble Pact, the government is carrying out the Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate stranded Indians from countries where the Bubble Treaty has not yet been concluded.
India also offers domestic and cargo flights to facilitate the transportation of travelers and goods across the country. While domestic flights were also banned, the government gradually opened calibrated domestic flights, initially allowing 35 percent of the actual flight plan capacity.
Domestic flights are currently operated at 65% of the capacity of the original flight plan. The General Directorate of Civil Aviation approved 12,983 domestic flights for the winter schedule, 44% less than the number of weekly domestic flights in the previous winter schedule. Winter hours began on October 25 and lasted until March 27. During the previous winter flight program, a total of 23,307 flights were approved in one week.
In the Air Bubble Deal, India for the first time created travel bubbles with countries like the United States, Germany and France. Since then, India has signed contracts with a total of 17 countries, including countries like Canada, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Japan, and more.