India will resume scheduled international flights from March 27, it was announced on Tuesday.
“The suspension of scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India, thus, stands extended only upto 2359 hrs IST on 26.03.2022 and air bubble arrangements shall accordingly be extended to this extent only,” the Press Information Bureau said.
Earlier, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had suspended operations of scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India with effect from March 23, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On February 28, the DGCA said in a tweet that scheduled international commercial operations were being suspended “till further orders”.
India was earlier said to be targeting January 31 to end its air bubble agreements, but this deadline was delayed because of the surge in Omicron cases.
After a near two-year ban, India resumed issuing tourist visas in November last and the decision was met with an initial surge in demand. Last year, the government announced that 500,000 free visas would be issued for international travellers before March 2022.
In 2020, around 6.33 million international tourists and non-resident Indians arrived in India, down from about 18 million in 2019, as per some industry estimates.