International flight India ban extended until February 28, 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. 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.

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 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 will be immediately opened. Not happening so soon, I say. The world is closed at the moment, and I would believe international travel will also open gradually.

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 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 February 2021. The Air Bubble flights and Vande Bharat flights are excluded from this notification.


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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    • @hiflyer you can travel to USA directly from India, not sure about how it would work via QR. I would imagine you would have to enter the country and wait for a few days if they are accepting guests.

  1. Our minister does not want to work. Extending this he will sit idle & relax for another 1 month with vande barath & bubble. So ban flights…dont work sit & enjoy the ministry. Opening up all flights carry a lot of responsibility too. Which he or his team cant take as of now. So extend & sit idle as long as possible

  2. It would be very useful if the honorable minister can help us understand the decision criterion for extending the flight ban.

    It can’t be to prevent COVID; not so with a ‘bubble’ agreement with two of the worst (present-day) impacted countries (USA and UK).

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