International Flights can Resume through Bilateral Bubbles: Civil Aviation Minister PuriJuly 17, 2020 13:27
(Image source from: eastcoastdaily.in)
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that talks are at a very advance stage with France, Germany and UK over bilateral air bubbles.
Till the situation returns to normal, Civil Aviation Minister of India had said on Thursday that International flights may resume operations through bilateral air bubbles between the countries.
What exactly are Bilateral Air Bubbles?
Puri had said that India has signed bilateral bubble agreements with France and the US that would allow airlines from these countries to resume international flight operations.
A travel air bubble is the travel corridor between two countries that are willing to re-open their borders and establish connections with each other.
The bilateral bubble agreement is an exclusive partnership between those countries that have recovered from COVID-19 or trust the testing numbers.
Which countries is India considering to sign the agreement with?
India has already successfully signed the air bubble agreement with the US and France. It is now in talks with Germany and the UK.
America’s United Airlines will be ferrying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to July 31.
Air France will be operating 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Paris from July 18 to August 1.
Air India will be allowing only restricted number of its flights to and from these countries as per the agreement and as agreed by the US and France.
Passengers arriving from other countries to India will have to undergo one week institutional quarantine and 7 days of home quarantine.
Why is India considering Air Bubbles?
India’s consideration for these bilateral air bubbles comes after the US had restricted ‘Vande Bharat’ flights operated by Air Indi into its border claiming India of being unfair and engaging in discriminatory practices.
As per this agreement, Air India will need authorization from the US government to conduct its flights. France has also earlier asked India to fly its flights without incoming passengers.
Speaking of Vande Bharat mission, Air India CMD Rajiv had said to the press that Air India and Air India Express have operated 1103 flights after the pandemic attack and had brought back 2,08,000 Indians as on July 13. Moreover, 85,289 passengers have been sent back to their respective countries from India.
India had suspended all International flights in March before the announcement of lockdown by the government, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
By Gayatri Yellayi