No scheduled international flights to/from India permitted until September 30, 2020

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 have been paying crazy money all the tickets they can for their emergency to fly back home. 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 August 31, 2020. Here is the page that refers to these guidelines.

If you notice right in the centre, it says

Movement of persons on Vande Bharat and Air Transport Bubble flights will continue to be regulated by SOPs issued. 

Usually, this will be followed up by a circular from DGCA which will put another extension on the date of the ban on international air travel. [Update: This circular has now been issued, extending the ban on scheduled flights till September 30, 2020]

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.


There has been a lot of leniencies that has been put in place with the air-bubbles being set up this month. 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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  1. My husband has been trying to book a flight with Qatar for days now (Delhi to Washington DC for the end of October) and every time he books, the flight gets cancelled. He holds an American passport and an OCI card. Qatar customer service says it depends on the government and their website says it’s because of operational issues. What’s going on? I thought there was a “bubble” to allow such trip.

  2. It’s so frustrating to see restarting international flights getting dragged out just to apparently benefit VBM-AI; they fly at ridiculous prices (from US) & that too to DEL..???

  3. Again international flights are suspended till 30 Sep and for united airlines and british airways they had the permission for aug month but vande bharat satrted phaae 6 till Oct. It means this month only vande bharat will fly to use no other option for flyers to take except this or guys do u have any update of airlines other than vande bharat ind to usa .

  4. Fed up with all these political stunts. Our Aviation Ministry thinks Air India has a better immunity to fight the Virus or making their profits.
    Shame on the Gov’t and insane politicians.

  5. Request our honorable concerned ministry to open international flights to middle east. It’s in the best interest of our economy and family. We have to live with Corona for longer period.

  6. Pls open flights..anyways travel is allowed only for the negative cases.This decesion brings lot of trouble in many lives.

  7. Why not flight to drc Congo no Indian live in Africa why Indian government air bubbles only in America or Europe country many people wait for it but no help for

    • Pls open flights..anyways travel is allowed only for the negative cases.This decesion brings lot of trouble in many lives.

  8. We are old parents and need to extend emergency support to daughter residing in US. We have valid visa B2. Can we take Vande Bharat flt from India to US without any special approval.

  9. It all looks illogical to me. Just closing your borders and sitting tight is not going to work. On one hand, there are calls to welcome a new normal. On the other, you want to shut down everything and call yourselves atmanirbhar. How is that possible? Looks like most people are clueless about this virus and just like issuing orders without meaning. You cannot stop all international trade, business and the lot and wait till this passes over. This pandemic is unlikely to get over soon – so open up and take precautions. You cannot hide people and numbers just to look good in the public domain. Shameful indeed!

  10. Our Government is taking decision during pandemic which they like.The Government should think logically . Whimsical action or decision never be able to give us strong protection against covid. We request our Govt to allow international commercial flights for the benefit of our country.

    • Modi hai too sab mumkin hai,

      Badly effected our international trade . They must start international flight without any special permission etc .

  11. In July they said all international flights would start after 15th August. I booked a flight accordingly with Emirates for my wife and daughter to fly back to Kolkata from Kuwait. The date was 28/08. It got cancelled and Emirates even told me they had no information when flights would commence to India. So I had to make other arrangements for them to fly back which was much more expensive and troublesome. Horrible experience!

    • Hi, I am in a similar situation. I want to relocate to India, but there are too many restrictions, and I don’t fall under any compelling special case. how did you send your wife and children to India?

  12. I really don’t know why the keep saying Vandhae Bharat mission, are they doing it free of service or giving benefits to the Citizens nothing like that peoples are paying hard own money and our governt morrans are taking previlage on that Sarcastic Indian Mentality

  13. Please inform atleast before a week if indian government have any news like this stupid suddenly government taking decisions like this foolness, please understand the problems of Indians.

  14. Completely irrational decision..should be reconsidered immediately. Dont please behave like facist in all areas of life and livelihood. You are allowing almost everything which can enhance spread. After a very long susoension of international flights still infectivity is breaking record everyday. Political gatherings are frequently seenbin media. Even our PM broke the protocol by attending Mandir inauguration while he was in close proximity of our Home Minister who was affected by Corona. Please dont let people suffer by your whips and whims.

  15. Why people sitting in power are hell bent to destroy indian aviation industry including Airports to close down.
    When US with higher Covid n lower recovery is flying more than 80 international destinations n full domestic sector’s , why people in power are hell bent to destroy complete Aviation n travel industry.
    Extremely Sad Indeed.

  16. I have got work permit from last month by online processing service and now indian government not allowed me to go to Kenya so my time is going west and company deducting money. What can we do till not start regularly flights

  17. Looks like aviation minister can not think of people in countries other than US UK Canada and UAE. It is almost six mths since the ban on international travel and now almost everyone wants to visit their families atleast once. Please allow people to visit their near and dear ones. Leave aside this sadistic attitude.

  18. Shows we are ruled by a clueless bunch of buffoons who hardly have any clarity themselves on the objectives of the flight ban!

    Visiting Bharat mata has been made a rare privilege for her own citizens.

    • Yes. Sir. I don’t know tendency of our aviation ministry. By showing carona they want to earn by ban international flights. Why. I don’t know. Metro intetstate all r accepted. This is too much. Vandaebharat is not good sanitory measures. At least now just change ur mind and allow international flights at least 3 times a week. Rectify your tricks

  19. How long will people be put to such inconveniences due to such harsh and draconian laws. We must understand that we have to live with Covid19 and it will infect every person on earth if not today then tomorrow. No matter how many strict measures are taken, the virus will continue infecting. Let people travel with normal care like face masks and hand gloves.

  20. Thousands of people are annoyed with the government’s policy. Normal flights were to be started as per the guide.

  21. This is just a straight up notification from GoI. Why are you trying to make an issue out of it. All this time, all international flights have been operating per MoCA’s SOPs and this memo is no different. It doesn’t says nowhere that they are banning any international flights/carriers. So please stop spreading rumors. The life of stranded people is already much worse, don’t try to confuse them and make it hell.

    • @SM you must be hallucinating. All international flights are operating? Can you really fly from India to Panama, for instance via Dubai or Doha? Can you freely travel to Tokyo? There is no travel happening apart from some sectors. So please step out of this hallucination. Thanks

    • Let the market decide the number of flights and the routes of the flight. I am sure Modi ji and the civil aviation ministry would have more important things to worry about!

    • @SM, are you sure “all international flights operating all this time?” FROM/TO WHERE? You should really update yourself with the travel restrictions that have been in place since March/April.

  22. Tottaly absurd this stupid decision for not open schedule for international flights. You can’t see how asshole you are guys.. You’re ruined many lives .. U have no ideia. Stupid decision!!!

  23. This is stupid on OCI card holders can not travel with other countries flights not being permitted. Not clear to travel or not.

    • You can, at the moment anyway, fly to USA with a valid tourist visa. I believe one or two countries are also open to people with a valid tourist visa. Better to check with the destination country guidelines as they vary widely from country to country.

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