International flight India ban extended until January 31, 2021

In March 2020, it became apparent that international flights in India will not operate anytime soon. Since then, Air India has been operating repatriation flights, and people were paying crazy money all the tickets they can for their emergency to fly back home, while an International flight India ban has been existing of sorts. In the meanwhile, other countries such as the USA started indicating their displeasure with Vande Bharat flights.

Now, a new order has been passed by the Government of India, as a part of their plan to open up the lockdown. The new order notifies that airlines operating commercial flights to/from India will not be able to perform any flights till further notice. In an earlier ruling, the international flights were limited until November 30, 2020. Here is the page that refers to these guidelines on this International Flight India Ban for the moment, from the guidelines issued by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs till December 2020.

a paper with text on it

If you notice right in the top, it says

All activities have been permitted outside containment zones, except for the following, which have been permitted with certain restrictions:

  • International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA

This entire order has been extended for a month by the Government of India till January 2021.

a white text on a black background

At the moment, India has ‘Air Bubble’ Agreements with 23 nations and certain other Vande Bharat flights. I gather this would be targetted to clarify to the other airlines operating to India about the timing of how long they should not be planning operations to India. The really bad news is, the decision is postponed, and there is no final timeline of opening up Commercial international aviation, and it could go on longer.

The DGCA has now put up a notification further extending the ban till January 2021. The Air Bubble flights and Vande Bharat flights are excluded from this notification.

a close-up of a document


There has been a lot of leniencies that has been put in place with the air-bubbles that have been set up for months. However,  this does not permit everyone in India to go wherever they want whenever they want subject to being approved by the other country to enter their country.  The only liberties are in travelling to the USA, UK and some other countries for now.

What do you make of this International Flight India ban? 

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About Ajay

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. I have booked the tickets for myn my wife by Air France. For 24/12/21 for SEATTLE ,USA
    I WANT to know that whether our flights will be taking of on 24/12/21

  2. The Aviation Minister has just announced that flights from/to the UK will resume on 8th Jan in a strictly controlled manner. Any chance anyone knows what those new regulations would look like?

  3. There should be temporary ban including vande bharat air bubbles till situation becomes better, keeping in view of high traction of cases for Christmas celebration in countries like Us and in Europe and now expected a post New year surge, the govt must temporarily put international travel restricted and only reopen after careful evaluation , action should be taken ASAP before it’s too late

  4. I dont see any rationale behind this decision. This govt has been extending the ban on international travel on a monthly basis since this pandemic began. This shows they dont have a plan.Typical sarkari babu mentality- it is banned.
    Other countries have proved that travel is possible with covid testing. Look at Dubai- I am here at the moment- having travelled from the UK. They have one of the lowest rates of covid infection – none proved to be due to travel.
    Excuses, excuses excuses- thats all this govt has made since the start of this pandemic.

    Its the weak implementation of laws that the govt is scared of – not their presence. They are well aware that our population likes to break laws- be it the quarantine ones or the wearing of masks and dont even get me started on the social distancing- its all a drama.
    They have restarted train travel, highways are open, the markets are full of people- doesnt that spread coronavirus?

  5. I have a flight Air canada Dec 11 2020 to Delhi. Will those who are overseas Citizens of India allowed to enter india?

  6. What about couples?
    Its been almost a year since I met my boyfriend!
    Atleast something should have been planned for couples 🙁

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