India closing airports for ALL International Flights w.e.f. March 22, 2020

When it comes to responding to the global CoronaVirus crisis, I think India has had a graded and commensurate response to the entire situation.

First, we implemented Quarantine measures for arrivals from certain countries. Then, we suspended all the Visas and OCI travel to ensure that people from outside India cannot come to the country. Then, we shut down access for travel from Europe to India and put in Quarantine measures for those arriving via the Middle East. Also, arrivals from Malaysia, Afghanistan and Philipines were cancelled.

As a consequence, Indian carriers one by one have started to close their regional networks. IndiGo has vastly truncated its network, GoAir has suspended all international operation. Vistara has shut international operations too but will take a relook. SpiceJet is closing its international network too.

a group of airplanes on a runway

Now, the Government of India has decided to close the borders of the country to all airlines for a week for now. In a statement, the Government wrote,

No Scheduled International Commercial Passenger Aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from March 22, 2020 for one week.

This would mean, that while domestic Indian airlines will be grounding all their international operations for a week, also all other airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways which are still operating flights to India will not be able to operate flights to India anymore.

Here are the details of how this closure will work:

  • No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India, after 0001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (*i.e. 0531 hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) of March 22, 2020). These instructions shall remain in force till 0001 hrs GMT of March 29, 2020.
  • A maximum travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial passenger aircraft to land in India.
  • As such, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers *on Indian soil* (Foreigner or Indian) after 2001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (*i.e. 0131 hrs IST of March 23, 2020).


India is not the only country to have closed its borders but is one of the many who have done so. If you need to leave India or arrive in India, you have about two days to make it in or out of the country. A lot of international flights are operating at the moment and no reason to worry.

What do you think about the latest move to close our borders?

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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Please help me
    Main abhi UAE main hu
    Mera tourist visa hai
    Muje India jana hai
    Please open airport
    Some body help me

  2. Hi, can anyone one please let me know ” when indian airports will open ? i have to fly to Channai from Qatar. Since few days I have been waiting for my travel. I have to go for my needy. Anyone can help me, just pass through the information if you know.

  3. i have booked ticket through cleartrip from kochi to dubai on 25th of march, now all the flights are cancelled , i cancel the ticket and i got only 198dhs i have booked the ticket on 950dhs. i dont know what kind of deductions is this ..its very can i get full/maximum amount?

  4. Hi
    I’m working in uae I.came for my annual leave to India ( Hyderabad) on 27th February my return ticket was on 28th of march due to all flights or cancelled im unable to travel on that day can someone please help me will I’m able to travel on april 15th to uae
    Please reply me

    Syed mujahid

  5. HI, I am currently in India and need to fly to Dubai as I work there. My flight was for 28th by Air India which was cancelled by my travel partner itself. When would I be able to fly back?

  6. Hi,
    My return flight is on April 9th from Hyderabad to Newark, US. My family is alone there.
    I have to join with them. Now is this flight cancelled?


    • Mine was on April 5th to Newark, but unfortunately flights got cancelled, I again booked my flight for 15th, but don’t know what happens. But I have to reach Newark ASAP at any cost.

  7. i have a flight from Chicago to Delhi to Rajkot on 9th April via AIR INDIA. is my flight cancelled or not? in this 21 days lockdown. Till what date international flight are cancelled

    • yes everything is shutdown until 15th of april.even I had flight to Mumbai and it has been cancel.i spoke to airlines about it and my travel agent told me samething.

  8. I’m Singaporean came to return ticket to Singapore is on 28 march is cancelled.any idea when they will open all flights…I’m worrried.mother with 3 kids stuck in India now.

  9. I have confirmed flight on 30th march from guwahati to delhi and flight status is confirmed?
    Iam worried flight would be cancled or continue as ussual

  10. My British airways flight is cancelled for 29th March . I need to go back to care for my husband who is I’ll. Willis be able to travel.
    I think it us reasonable to not allow but to let go people who are stuck.

  11. I am US citizen, and stuck here In India. Please help us to get out from India. I am stuck here since the shut down added 21 more day. Which is differ digest. I need to go back home.

  12. I have tickets from Ethiopian airlines from Delhi to Nigeria on 9th April.

    There will be any problem ?

  13. My flight departure is March 31st Delhi to sfo from air India flight. Is it cancelled? I am also worried that all state borders are locked down. If my flight isn’t canceled, will Himachal allow me to travel from taxi to Delhi airport.

  14. We will be flying with ethipia airlines from zanzibar to Delhi airport on 1st of April 2020, hope Indian Gov will allow, because i want to be with my family in this disaster time. here our hotel also will be shut down from 31.03.20 until further notice,
    it’s really bad time for us we dont know where we will stay and eat food etc.
    therefore we request our prime minister to allow us. i belive that like me many indian peoples are waiting to open the airports just for a short time.
    please advsie,

    • Please can you tell me is this opening on 15 April I’m also stuck in Dubai I need to b with my family in India my son also in India with my mom I want to be with them please allow us to go back to India requests to Prem minster to allow as and to open flight to travel

  15. We have flight from managlore to bagdora (managlore -bangalore-delhi-bagdora) spicejet on 23rd march… will the flights be canceled? Or Do we have to go through health screening at delhi if you are foreign nationality that has been staying in india?

  16. Sir/Mam,
    I have a flight (Indigo) from Bangalore to Delhi at 13:00 to 15:50 , i want to know both the airports are working tomorrow or not?

  17. Is India reopening international flights after 29th march???
    I have a fight from Canada to India on 4th April.

  18. I have a flight on March 23 (3:20 am) from Delhi to Amsterdam). Its still confirmed. Would it be ok to fly from Delhi with KLM Royal Dutch. Since punjab is closing tomorrow I am worried if I am able to catch my flight on time and not cancelled yet? Any thoughts.

  19. Why are they closing the airports for only one week? My daughters flight is on April 3, Oatar Airlines canceled her ticket without notification.
    Why aren’t they giving an appropriate date to reopen?
    Are canceled flights refunded?

  20. I have a connecting flight from Jaipur via guwahati to silchar on 22 ND march ,now I am worried should I come to my home?

  21. Hi, so now what is the best time to board a flight., I am from Ghana and I want to go back next week.

  22. Travelled from MAA-SIN-SFO on Mar 19(Chennai), SQ SIN flight is full both in Economy and Business. Ground staff told me for past ~ 4 days outbound flights are full. Incoming flight to Chennai has only ~20 to 30 % load.

  23. Any thoughts, I have a connecting flight from SFO (1am) Delhi (6am) and Del(7am) – Mumbai(9am), through flight. On my way I did immigration at Mumbai and not Delhi. But I am worried I will be stuck in delhi on quantantine. Is that likely.

    • @Nidhi, if you have a connecting flight booked on the same PNR you should be able to fly, although rules are changing everyday right now.

    • Depends on your nationality. If you have a visa/OCI you can’t take any flight to India.
      If you are an Indian national, you should be ok. But all travelers from overseas will have to go through health screening.

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