Due to the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic and considering the threat of spreading a new strain of the virus within the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to continue the ban on international commercial flights. The DGCA has extended the ban till 31st January 2021.
Although, flights operating under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ will continue to function as usual. As per the earlier decision, the ban on commercial international flights was imposed until 31st December. Abiding by the DGCA’s order, only authorized flights will be allowed to operate under special requirements.
After the imposition of an immediate lockdown on 24th March, India resumed special passenger flights on an emergency basis from 25th May after a gap of two months. Later, the Vande Bharat Mission was initiated to fetch back the stranded passengers in foreign countries. For safe operation of this mission, ‘Air bubble’ agreements were also ratified with several countries.
The Indian Government is alert and cautious on an emergency level due to the detection of a new strain of Coronavirus which has arisen in several European countries. The government has taken a crucial step to extend the ban on flights coming from the UK from 31st December 2020 to 7th January 2021. The Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri provided this information to the media. The new strain of Coronavirus has forced fresh lockdowns in many regions of the UK, including the capital London.
Ever since the detection of a new strain of the Coronavirus in several European countries, a global commotion has taken place. Several countries have commenced restricting flights originating from these countries. At the same time, India has also ceased flights entering from these countries as a precaution. This move has landed a heavy economical blow to the aviation industry. Due to this new ban on international flights, it seems that things will take much more time to normalize.
As a matter of concern, 20 people who have returned from the UK have been tested positive for this new strain of the Coronavirus. As of now, all these individuals are isolated within the observation of health authorities. On Tuesday, additional 6 people were tested positive with the new strain of this deadly virus.