Amid a global scare over the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, India on Wednesday backtracked on its decision to resume international flights from December 15.
India's civil aviation regulator said that the decision was taken to limit any possible spread of the Omicron variant in the country and an effective date of resumption of scheduled international passenger flights "shall be notified in due course".
Fortunately, not a single case of Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected in India so far.
"In view of the merging global scenario... 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," the
Directorate General of Civil Aviation said.
The regulator's latest move comes barely five days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked officials to review the Civil Aviation Ministry's decision to resumption regular international flights from December 15 over Omicron scare.
After a long Covid-induced hiatus, the Civil Aviation Ministry last Friday said that it would allow regular international passenger flights from December 15.
"The matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services, to and from India, has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health, and it has been decided... may be resumed from December 15," as per the Ministry's order.
The Indian government put curbs on all domestic and international flights in March last year in the wake of the Covid-induced lockdown. Though it allowed domestic flights from May 2020, restrictions prevailed on international flights till it allowed the entry of all foreigners except tourists in October that year.