International commercial flights to remain suspended till July 15: Government

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A circular released by the Director-General of Civil Aviation in New Delhi said that “scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India shall remain suspended till 23:59 hours IST of 15th July 2020.”

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The official release goes on to say that some international scheduled flights on “selected routes” may be allowed by the competent authorities on case to case basis.

The government is currently running the third phase of Vande Bharat Mission- on of the largest citizen repatriation programs undertaken by any government to evacuate people stranded in different countries after suspension of international commercial airline operations due to coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

The US administration had objected to India’s Vande Bharat mission under which Air India is flying to the US, but American carriers are being denied permission to fly on the American India routes.

The US had called this monopolization and threatened to disallow Air India’s Vande Bharat flight. A similar objection had come from the UAE too.

Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri had said that a decision to resume international passenger flights will be taken in July. He said that it would depend on the coronavirus behavior and if the entire ecosystem and state governments are on board.

Puri said that he is often asked, when can international flights resume. If you leave it to me and if the ecosystem works, and if we have the predictability in terms of the behavior of the virus, I think in the coming month, we should make the decisions, he had also said.

Meanwhile, India today reported 17,296 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours – the highest single-day surge – pushing the country’s tally to 4,90,401, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The death toll climbed to 15,301, with 407 fatalities reported in 24 hours. India has seen a surge in coronavirus infections this month, with about 3 lakh cases reported from June 1 to June 26.  On June 1, the coronavirus count was 190,535.