India extends ban on international flights until September 30

The announcement does not affect flights to the UAE from India, which resumed earlier this month

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The suspension of scheduled international flights in and out of India has been extended until September 30, the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced.

It does not affect flights that resumed to the UAE from India earlier this month.

The ban has been in place since March last year because of the pandemic.

In early August, thousands of Indian residents rushed to book tickets to return to their homes in Dubai after the easing of travel rules, which were in place from April because of surging Covid-19 cases in India.

About 300 flights a week were operating between the UAE and India before the suspension was announced.

As per the latest announcement, international scheduled flights will still operate “on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis”, the aviation authority said.

Special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selected countries since July 2020.

Dedicated cargo flights and “flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts” with select countries will continue to operate, the DGCA said.

Earlier this month, dozens of flights from Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai landed at Dubai International Airport after a months-long flight suspension.

Since the easing of restrictions, thousands of Indian residents have returned to the UAE after applying for approval from the ICA and Dubai's immigration authority, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

India has bilateral agreements on flights in and out of the country with the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Seychelles, Tanzania and Sri Lanka, among others.

Updated: August 30, 2021, 10:00 AM