India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a circular to all foreign and domestic scheduled airlines operating flights to/from India. DGCA has extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights until April 30, 2021.

These will however not be applicable to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA. The DGCA said international scheduled flights “may be allowed on selected routes” by the competent authority on a case-by-case basis.

India has suspended scheduled international flights since March 2020 and these suspensions have been extended multiple times. However, some international flights have been operating under the bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangements with around, including the and the UK.

India is seeing a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases, thus the decision was taken to extend the suspension of international commercial passenger flights.

Indian airlines flew 7.8 million domestic passengers in February 2021, DGCA figures show. This was up 1.2% from 7.7 million in January 2021, the February result was a decline of 36.7% year-on-year from 12.4 million in February 2020. IndiGo was well ahead with a February market share of 54.2%, or 4.2 million passengers. Followed by SpiceJet (12.3% market share, 962,000 passengers), Air India (11.7% market share, 916,000 passengers).

IndiGo is now the world’s seventh biggest by capacity and the largest outside the and China, according to OAG.

IndiGo took 44 planes from Airbus last year – the most of any customer, topping Delta Air Lines and Airlines – as it replaced older planes with more fuel-efficient newer models. IndiGo has over 570 planes on order with Airbus that are still to be delivered and is receiving them at a rate of around 50 a year. It is rumored that IndiGo is also gearing up to expand its fleet further from 2023.

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