International flight India ban extended until March 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. People were paying crazy money for 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 25 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 March 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? 

Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. Even though the amount you enter has to be in INR, you may use an international card to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.


  1. Ajay, lemme ask you a question. I have a return flight to jfk from del via Doha in three weeks time. I’m ticketed. But are you saying this is somehow problematic or possibly could be a conflict upon arrival at the airport? I don’t see how that can be the case as the ticket is confirmed & was purchased w AA miles via their site. Thank you, B

    • Please ask the airline/contact Indian embassy , having a confirmed ticket doesn’t guarantee boarding in case it doesn’t meet current laws at the destination

    • Don’t believe in that. I was denied boarding on a flight recently as I didn’t have ‘pre approval’. Had to reschedule and exchange a bunch of emails before I was allowed. And all of this was by the airline itself.

      Of course on the phone they kept saying yes everything is fine. But at the airport it was different. Hence get it in writing.

  2. Very surprised again international flights extended… sorry you guys bothered to me and all who want to go for abroad work..just change to rule and permit to start india vaccine private hospital.. who took the vaccine to give permission.. or order another rules.. we are suffering, no money no business no honey pls think PM sir, we hope starting asap…Dhanyawad..

  3. I have children 2 girl’s 5 and 9 yrs old they mother is in Dubai, and I am stuck in India, children are in the Philippines,my Visa expires in September 2021, I booked my ticket in June to manila,the agent supposed to return the ticket amount not paid, agents holiday delights,Clear trip.what next I don’t know.

  4. Hi, why from/to india hongkong flights fare is so expensive compared to other countries,, the route is only for 6 hr…

  5. It appears that Emirates and Qatar have stopped allowing connections ex-India to Europe/NA through the end of March. The flights were available for purchase until yesterday…

    It does not look like any of the actual flights have been cancelled though – Any idea if the new GOI order excludes Emirates/Qatar from selling connections via Air bubble?

    • @Rags, Qatar and Emirates were never allowed to transit pax from India to Europe/NA under the air bubble. Whatever crafty interpretation they made to sell that would have been in breach of the air bubble terms with India.

      • What about the other way — I’m looking at a summer trip back to India (after ages) to visit family, and one option is Qatar into DEL and BA out … Qatar is selling that fare right now.

      • Fascinating. This whole air bubble thing seems to be a scam. AI would probably be non-existent by now if not for schemes like this forcing people to fly direct to NA from India.

  6. It’s quite surprising to see this extension ! I have taken some domestic fights this month where everything is quite as usual – huge crowds, packed flights and noisy airports with overflowing passengers!
    If that’s so, why to opt out the international passengers who mostly or usually go for a living and not for pleasure. Hope this ban gets lifted before the due date and without any further extensions !!

  7. Thanks A Lot Ajay for sharing some of the great tips.

    That was such an inspiration to read. I just started my own blog and I can’t thank you enough after reading this post. Thanks again for keeping it real. I’m going to re-read this post again. You deserve all the success.

    Very excellent article with a lot of details for blogger!

    Have a nice week ahead Happy Blogging

  8. Hi Ajay.

    Not sure about people from elsewhere, but people from the Gulf are no longer paying crazy high air fares to and from India. This is evident as well from the fact that scores of Indians came to Dubai to vacation and party.

    Also, there are enough and more flights available to India, so defacto international travel has opened up.

    Your first paragraph has been the same since one year now. I really appreciate your writing, and it would help your readers if you update the writing as and when India extends the flight ban.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *