Canada has extended its suspension of direct flights from India for an additional 30 days, until June 21.
This was announced by Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra on Friday, the day before the end of the first suspension. “Until June 21, we will suspend all commercial and private flights arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan for another 30 days,” he said.
He wrote on Twitter that “temporary flights to India and Pakistan have significantly reduced the risk of new admissions and diversity. We are expanding these interventions to protect the health and safety of Canadians”.
The first suspension was announced on April 22 and will expire on Saturday, May 22. The Canadian government’s move was tempered by growing pressure to take action on the issue after multiple B.1.617 separate Covid-19 cases, first discovered in India, were reported in Canada.
Transport Canada issued its order last month and stipulated that passengers from India arriving in an indirect route, crossing the third country, should provide negative coronavirus test results before leaving the port before continuing their journey. Those conditions continue to apply for the extension.
In a statement released by Transport Canada in April, the Department of Aviation Affairs said, “These measures will help control the high risk of Covid-19 cases and the diverse concerns in Canada during increasing pressure on our health care system. ”
Air Canada had just announced last week that it was only accepting bookings of its direct flights from India starting in late June, in anticipation of an increase in air travel suspensions.
Before the suspension of the flights, both Air Canada and Air India flew almost daily flights between the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver, and New Delhi by way of an air tunnel that started operating last summer.