International passenger air travel to remain suspended till April 14

FE Bureau

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday said international passenger flights to and from India will remain suspended till April 14, in tandem with the countrywide lockdown. "It has been decided that all scheduled commercial passenger services shall remain closed till 1830 hours GMT of April 14, 2020," the civil aviation regulator said.

The restriction will not apply to international cargo operations and flights that have been approved by the DGCA. On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a lockdown in the entire country for three weeks, limiting public movement through roads, railways and air transport. The restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of the highly-contagious Covid-19.

Last week, the government banned all foreign and domestic airlines operating international passenger flights between March 22 and March 29. The International Air Travel Association (IATA) estimates a loss of over $250 billion in passenger revenues for airlines across the world resulting from the travel disruptions.

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to unprecedented lockdowns across the world, with many countries shutting their borders and limiting public movement. The pandemic has already claimed over 20,000 lives worldwide and over 4.5 lakh people have tested positive.