Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flight services till March 31.
Scheduled international flight operations were suspended from March 23 last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

"In partial modification of circular dated June 26, 2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity… regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India till 23.59 pm IST of March 31, 2021," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular.

However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes by the competent authority on case-to-case basis, it said.

The restriction will not apply to cargo flights and flights specifically approved by DGCA, the circular added.

Amid the suspension, special international flights have been allowed under the Vande Bharat Mission since May last year and under bilateral "air bubble" arrangements with select countries since July.

India has formed air bubble pacts with several countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France, among others.

Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories

Meanwhile, DGCA allowed airlines to provide concessions in air fares to customers travelling with no check-in baggage.

The move comes days after the DGCA provided greater flexibility to domestic carriers on fixing ticket prices by increasing the minimum fare band on domestic flights tickets.

"As part of airline baggage policy, scheduled airlines will be allowed to offer free baggage allowance as well as zero baggage/ no check-in baggage fares," DGCA said in a circular on unbundling of services issued on Friday.

This will be subject to the condition that the passenger booking ticket under such fare scheme is made aware of the charges that shall be applicable if the passenger turns up with the baggage for check-in at airline counter, it stated.

The circular further said on the basis of various feedback received, it is felt that many times these services provided by the airline may not be required by the passenger while travelling.

Considering the fact that unbundling of services and charges there to have the potential to make basic fare more affordable and provides consumer an option of paying from the services which he wishes to be availed, it has been decided by the government to allow certain services to be unbundled and charged separately on opt-in basis, the DGCA said.

While announcing the resumption of scheduled domestic flights on May 21 last year, the civil aviation ministry had placed limits on airfares through seven bands classified on the basis of flight duration.