No Surprise: International flight India ban extended until August 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 the Government of India has stitched up Air Bubbles with various countries. Non-stop flights are only permitted to these countries at the moment.

A new order was passed by the Government of India a few months ago as a part of their plan to open up the lockdown. The new order notifies that international air travel opening up will be decided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in consultation with India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

This is a change in tonality and gave many people hoped that international flights would be immediately opened. Not happening so soon, I say.

International Flight India Ban

Given the raging pandemic in India itself over the past two months or so, India has been shut down by over 20 countries, including Canada, UK, UAE, Kuwait, MaldivesSingapore, Australia, New Zealand and Oman. The USA had notified US Citizens to leave India as soon as possible.

At the moment, India has ‘Air Bubble’ Agreements with 27 nations and certain other Vande Bharat flights. I gather this to clarify to the other airlines operating in India about 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 for opening up Commercial international aviation, and it could go on longer.

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

International flight india ban

I have been continuously bemused at this notification coming out every month end like clockwork, which shows the lack of planning and foresight, or the humility to accept the situation as it is on the ground for now. India is now in the second wave, and many states are already talking of a third wave. So I don’t see we will ride out of this and open up to international travel anytime soon till we get a large part of our people vaccinated. That means a good 5-6 months before things change. Why not just pass an order for six months so that airlines which cannot operate in India in the period move on and use their resources better in other countries.


India has once again extended its air travel ban by a month rather than by a longer timeframe. This means regular commercial air travel is off limits till August 31, 2021. On the other hand, many countries have decided they don’t want to have anyone travel from India because of the rising cases in this country.

What do you make of this International Flight India ban? 

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  1. Hi kindly start flights damn it’s been I am staying in india from 6 months my husband staying at Singapore only kindly start flights will rush as soon as pozz kindly start flights to Singapore india to Singapore this week

  2. As a foreign tourist and India lover, I would be happy to understand the Indian government and the endless ban on international flights. The Indian experience shows that travel bans are completely useless as soon as the virus is already inside the country. It shows also that the virus can mutate without any touristic contact with other countries. To allow vaccinated or tested tourists to enter India would be completely safe. Countries like Mexico never had any travel ban or health measures for incoming tourists and the situation there is not bad at all. Turkey never had any ban on international flights and no test required until december 2020 (after : test only). Citizens of India will be eligible to visit many European countries even for tourism, as European countries’ visa application centres located in India have resumed their work. So why this travel ban to India? And why do they always promise to end the ban at the end of the month and then extend it again and again, like a bad joke? It would be simply honest to explain their agenda. If they want to extend the ban until october, or december, or until 2024, just tell it frankly. It would allow foreigners to organize themselves, especially those who need an ayurvedic treatment, or who simply look forward to finally meet their friends again and visit the wonderful India.

  3. I have booking on 15th August to Helsinki from Mumbai via Doha…. Qatar Airways … will I be able to fly ..?

  4. I have had enough .I do not like a world with uncertainty Lockdowns,schools being shutdown,rising of unemployment,small shops and business industries shutdown,mask mandatory, travelling restrictions,Jobs being taken from employees refusing vaccines,vaccine passport mandatory, vaccines enforcement!!!
    #I want my Freedom .

  5. People losing their jobs who are working out of the country kindly reopen the flight.
    I would like suggest to indian government to take action immediately and save employees job

  6. why the government are not thinking about the people’s their loved ones who’s get separated from last one and half years
    what’s problems they are facing just put ourselves on their place and think that you are separated from your loved ones you will realise the pain we are suffering to get separated from our loved ones

  7. Instead of announcing at the end of the month that the international flights are banned until the end of the subsequent month, why not simply announce that international flights are banned until further notice and, thereby, put an end this senseless monthly routine?

  8. Is there any flight from India to Saudi?? I had vaccinated that with saudi approved Pfizer..

  9. It’s been 4moths still ban is being extending.we have our family there is lot of expence for one month who is going to pay our EMI dues you guys don’t care of it only extending international ban.why can’t you approve people who have took 2 dose of vaccines.pls think of this.Things are going worse day by day people don’t have jobs.Pls don’t play political roles here we need to go back to our job.pls think on this we are human.

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