Omicron: Regular international flights to remain suspended till January 31; air bubbles to continue

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NEW DELHI: Omicron has pushed back the resumption of scheduled international flights. They will now remain suspended till January 31, 2022, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in an official circular on Thursday.
Expensive options under air bubbles — which India now has with 32 countries with the latest being Switzerland — will continue till regular flights resume.
India had last month announced a graded resumption of regular international flights from December 15. However due to Omicron variant of Covid-19, the Centre decided to postpone the resumption of flights.
International flights were suspended on March 23, 2020 in wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
The expensive bubble flights will remain the only option for travellers till regular ones resume. And when that happens remains to be seen.
“This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA… international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis,” the order said.
While deferring the December 15 reopening, the DGCA had said: “In view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new variants of concern, the situation is being watched closely in consultation with all stakeholders and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services shall be notified in due course.”

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