Even though commercial international flights are banned, Indians can still travel to and from a select few countries. This is possible due to the air bubbles or air corridors created by the Indian government with these countries. The Netherlands, Tanzania and Rwanda are the new additions to the list of countries with which India had already set up air bubble arrangements. India had set air bubbles with Bahrain, Ukraine, Bangladesh, France, Afghanistan, Canada, Iraq, Germany, Qatar, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, the UAE, United UK, the US, Bhutan and Kenya. Now Indians can travel to a total of 21 international destinations. Read on to know the details.
India Extends Air Bubble To Netherlands, Tanzania & Rwanda
India has recently extended transport bubble arrangements to Netherlands, Tanzania and Rwanda. The total number of countries with which India has air bubble arrangements now is 21. According to a Moneycontrol report, Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri had earlier stated that these flights are a little more emerged than the evacuation flights, but have not approached the ‘normal’ stage yet. India is planning to increase the air bubble arrangements with more countries. Meanwhile, this is what people of the Netherlands had stocked up before lockdown.
Flights To & From Germany & Hongkong Suspended
Several places like Hong Kong and Germany have suspended flights with India over Covid-19 cases and schedules, respectively. Select flights to international destinations have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries.
India Sets Up Air Bubble Arrangement With Ukraine
India has confirmed an air bubble arrangement with Ukraine. Now, the number of countries with which India has air bubble pact is 17. International flights from both India and Ukraine will operate between two nations. The Ukrainian capital, Kyiv will be the base for flights between the two countries.
Aviation Minister of India, Hardeep Singh Puri, took to Twitter to announce, “To further widen the scope of international air connectivity, an air bubble arrangement is now in place for flights between India & Ukraine, taking the number of such arrangements to 17. Carriers of India & Ukraine will operate between the two countries.”
To further widen the scope of international air connectivity, an air bubble arrangement is now in place for flights between India & Ukraine, taking the number of such arrangements to 17.
Carriers of India & Ukraine will operate between the two countries.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 14, 2020
India Had Extended Air Bubbles With Bhutan And Kenya
Travel bubble arrangements with Bhutan and Kenya became operational in the first half of October. According to the agreement, Indians will be able to take select international passenger flights to and from these countries. Until September 17, Bahrain, France, Afghanistan, Canada, Iraq, Germany, Qatar, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, the UAE, United UK, and the US were in the list.
India Is Negotiating With Many Other Countries
India is negotiating with several other countries to enter into air bubble travel arrangements. These include Singapore, Israel, Russia, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.
More flights, destinations & air bubbles being put in place to facilitate inbound & outbound international travel of stranded citizens under Vande Bharat Mission.
More than 17 lakh people facilitated since 6 May 2020.
Reaching out to more everyday. pic.twitter.com/RLXsoSNPPU
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) September 20, 2020
Indians Can Fly To USA, UK, Maldives With Relaxed Visa Rules
The Indian government has relaxed visa guidelines for the seven countries with which it shares an air bubble. This means that Indian citizens are free to travel to countries like USA, UK, Maldives and France. All they need is a valid visa of any kind (like work, tourist, student visa) for their destination. However, it is important to check the rules and guidelines issued by these countries before making any plans.
With the pandemic still raging on, we strongly advise our readers to avoid travelling. However, if you have to travel for compelling reasons, make sure you take all the necessary precautions. Wear a mask and practice social distancing all the time. Most importantly, keep a tab of the situation wherever you’re planning to go. Till then, here’s why air travel is probably the best mode of travelling for now.