New Delhi: The government has extended the suspension of scheduled international flight services to 31 August. The restriction would not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulator said in a statement on Friday.

Airlines, barring repatriation and special flights, were earlier restricted from operating their regular international flight services till 31 July, in an effort to contain the covid-19 pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives globally.

India suspended all flight operations on 25 March to contain the spread of covid-19 pandemic. Domestic flight operations were allowed to resume from 25 May, albeit with a limited capacity.

International repatriation flights are allowed to operate to bring back stranded Indians from abroad during the lockdown. These were mostly operated by national carrier Air India Limited. At present, apart from Air India, other carriers, including foreign airlines, have been allowed to operate international flights from and to India.

“To allow gradual movement of passenger traffic during the covid-19 situation, ‘Transport Bubble’ agreements have been signed with (the) USA, France, and Germany. Recently, ‘Transport Bubble’ agreement has also been signed with Kuwait to uplift stranded passengers both to/from India,” DGCA said in the statement.

“More similar arrangements are likely to fructify and ease passenger movements from different countries,” it added.

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