India Expands Air Bubble Travel Arrangements With Western Countries
Like the United Kingdom, India is proving its mantle by being a nation of vision and innovation as it now goes full throttle into setting down air bubble travel protocols with various nations worldwide.
Under the set protocols, the air bubble travel arrangements will be facilitated between India’s national air carrier, the Air India and their respective counterparts in Germany, US, UK and France.
In a fortnightly arrangement, the air bubbles will facilitate customer travel from India to other countries and vice versa. In a formal bilateral agreement that has been signed between India and other nations, the American United Airlines announced 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to 31.
Late on, Air France has also agreed to operate 28 flights in total from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore between mid July and beginning of August.
Besides using the national carrier via air bubble transits from origin airport to the destination airports, India has been using the Vande Bharat initiative to transit passengers to various countries where immediate airlift was needed. This includes the UAE.
It has been confirmed that a limited period agreement was also signed with the United Arab Emirates. This facilitated air travel for passengers between
July 12 to July 26. But for some reason, it has been a temporary arrangement and the UAE has not renewed the bilateral agreement with India.
Under this agreement, UAE had finally allowed for ICA-approved UAE residents to board flights from India to UAE. Up until then, Indian carriers were flying empty to the UAE, under the Vande Bharat Mission.
Additionally, the Indian Aviation Ministry has also been able to thaw its understanding with Kuwait which has now allowed transit of Indian citizens from Kuwait to India and vice versa via the air bubble transport arrangement. While India is trying to make arrangement with Hong Kong as well, the latter is reluctant to open its doors to India as of now, due to scare of Covid-19 contraction numbers.