No scheduled international flights to/from India permitted under Unlock 3 for now

In March 2020, it became obvious that international flights in India will not operate anytime soon. Since then, Air India has been operating repatriation flights and people have been literally paying crazy money all the tickets they can for their emergency to fly back home. In the meanwhile, other countries such as the USA have now 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 August 31, 2020, 1830 GMT, which would translate to midnight India time. In an earlier order, the international flights were limited until July 31, 2020.

If you notice right in the centre, it says

International Air Travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under Vande Bharat Mission. Further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner. 

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.

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 July 31, 2020, is not a final timeline of opening up Commercial international aviation, and it could go on longer.


Unless one is stuck in India as a foreign citizen and can’t get out on a relief flight being operated at the moment, no one will be able to come in or go out of India for the time being. Some good news might be on the anvil, however.

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. In most of the European and Gulf countries, corona crisis is much better managed and now peaking out in numbers. Cancellation of international flights by India is a foolish step devoid of imagination. How justified is it to detain people in India desperately missing their families and jobs overseas?

  2. Indian government cant manage everything like another country…all countries start flights but only india have one reason COVID 19….every one knows that how to live with virus now…our government can’t feel that how many persons are waiting for fly…but its shame on india…who told that vande bharat mission is important…if all international flights start by routine life then every one fly easily for india or out of india….but our government cant do anything….now new extensions 31st August….all high post minister have lots money but where is common man? Common man dies every day by government every new rules and restrictions.

  3. If anybody says anything against VANDE…these thugs can get u charged with SEDITION…bcz its a LOOT under Patriotic name…

  4. Ashamed of you India. Govt. is “Fit for nothing” when you cant handle this kind of situation/Crisis. How many people suffering because of Int. flight Ban. you really understand the situation we dont know.

    You really think just by banning International flights will bring down the Virus count. do you think we are really fool. Just sitting and seeing by not taking any action. Its shame of you India. Really shame.

  5. Hey Modi,
    By charging hefty amount on reparation flights Air India will not survive.
    Should the overseas money that is being pumped in by NRIs gets sluggish will definitely affect Indian economy. Be practical like other countries, don’t be beuarocratic here too.

  6. Dear Indian government please think for those who are working in another country and got stucked in india since march how they are going to survive with there family without going back to work in abroad? There is no source of income and for you it’s very easy n simple decision to stop flights but you never think for your people who voted you for this position,,,,, shame on you the way you manage system

  7. VBM flights are playing acheating with stranded NRI. No tickets are available at Air India website, but one can get a ticket from agent for more than double the normal price of ticket. Its a scam, Mr. Hardip Singh Puri should take notice of this scam and no ticket should be sold to agents to sell it further to make money. Its real frustating for NRI person yo pay the price of ticket at the rate of more than 110000 to Vancouver, when the air india ticket price is Rs. 51000.Shame on air Insia administration for this organised loot.

  8. Please start kuwait flight. Our job is very critical situation… And there rules also very difficult to go please support indian people..

  9. I am working in UK.There are lots of people
    from Kerala working abroad.We wonder why no flights from Kochi.We have to pay a lot still lot of trouble by Travelling from Domestic then go to International Delhi or Mumbai.Why can’t you start start some direct flights fro Kochi at least connected flight. What is the difference between normal scheduled flights and Evacuation flights because lots of Evacuation flights to different places.Lots of people struggling by Travelling from Mumbai and Delhi. We have to pay a lot and still we have to book hotel and stay during the waiting time in Mumbai and Delhi. I t is really
    very bad.Specially for wheelchair passengers. Could you please start direct or connected flights from many from UK waiting to go back.

    • Just look at the home page for civilaviation dot gov dot in, it’s a landing page to sell Air India tickets and Investor packages; a blatant fraud of the Indian people!

  10. I was working in UAE. All was well. I got a better job offer based in Saudi Arabia. I quit UAE job and came back to India to further travel to Saudi. My work Visa etc were in place. However I missed my onward journey due to the travel ban. Now I have been out of work since 17 March 2020 and dont know what is going to happen to my job offer in saudi arabia. The Govt just doesn’t want to solve the problems of thousands of indians who are suffering due to the delay in starting regular international flights.

  11. Indian Government is joke. The Government leaders, ministers to mail delivery man, milkman, Autoriksha all corrupt. Thier imagination and thought are evil. The blessing of Lord Jesus Christ has been removed and the country will be on knees very soon. All of the people in India need to believing Lord Jesus Christ so that when they die their soul will rest in heaven or else it will end up in Hell Fire. But they will never believe but will follow idol worship and will be proud. The glory of the Lord has departed and they are blinded by bollocking, Kapil Sharma Show, Sharuk khan etc And food. Good.

  12. The shameless fools elected by the morons and who are incompetent to handle this crisis are putting helpless and honest tax payers by constantly postponing Intl. Flights. They let the virus spread by not taking action immediately by banning and quarantining incoming passengers to arrest the infection in the first place and are now selling this fake idea that banning flights will somehow cure our problems. Idiots.

  13. It’s all part of the plandemic folks; enjoy your slavery while corrupt transnational corporations, institutions and governments work diligently with oppresive nation-states to tirelessly fleece their own people and impose tyrannical and draconian laws under the false flag of covid…

  14. I booked my ticket to Hyderabad, India on:19th July from Kuwait through (VBM:4) GOAIR I am very much upset due to many times the flight journey date is canceled &rescheduled. Today dated:30th July 2020 Still they didn’t have provide the current schedule, finally they are telling unless Kuwait and India DGCA approvals. The thing is in the VBM 4 is not concluded how Indian DGCA go through VBM5 …..many repatriate NRI struggling with hope less and also Job less….O My Lord Save our lives:

  15. This Govt has no own strategy by their planning and execution, this shameless Govt is responsible for spreading Covid19 in india for very late decision on banning international flights and allowed people from all over world till March 23 without even thermal screening…But now again they failed to resume international flights, they should take proper measures and start operations but all are sleeping and finally people are suffering for electing this Sarkar..

  16. Biggest UGLY shameless SCAM of the century by this GOVERNMENT OF INDIA .. >> by PURPOSELY suspending Regular scheduled international flights and deliberately replacing their FRAUDULENT VBM in its place for organised loot of desperate suffering people .. how disgraceful .. VANDE BHARAT MISSION is the deliberate CRIMINAL scam, to loot innocent desperate stranded poor people .. VBM charges are EXTREMELY too high and banned in US and other countries. .. This is THE broad day light cheating (robbery) by Indian government to rescue BANKRUPT Air India .. what a shameful SCAM on citizens of India by their own CHEATER Indian Government ..

    • Please don’t term it as a rescue mission for Air India, I don’t see Air India staff being paid their dues by the govt, using all the revenue from these operations. This organized Loot is solely aimed at filling up the govt coffers, which will be siphoned off somewhere and possibly won’t come under the radars of anybody’s scrutiny or Audits.

  17. VBM largest scam of Indian government it’s destroying the aviation industry, yet only AIRINDIA is the sole monopoly holder can be held under MRTP act but who is going to fight against the government, since it’s useless fighting.

    • VBM charges are EXTREMELY far too high … This is the rescue mission operation for BANKRUPT Air India .. why no announcement on resumption of international scheduled flights .. very strange !! .. any input on commercial SCHEDULED direct or indirect Air India INTERNATIONAL flight between Ahmedabad and London resuming ? ..

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