India to allow ‘air bubble’ flight operations from US, France

Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi–┬áCivil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said India will allow limited flight operations from US and France under the ‘Air Bubble’ arrangements made with these countries.

Accordingly, these flight services will be operated under certain pre-conditions.

Besides these, operations of Lufthansa flights to India under the arrangement with Germany will commence.

He said that similar arrangement are under advance stages of negotiations with the UK.

In aviation parlance, ‘Air Bubble’ travel arrangements are established between two countries under a certain set of safety and travelling conditions such as high demand, legal entry and exit norms and airlines’ willingness to operate on these sectors.

Puri said that India has allowed Air France to operate 28 flights to Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai from July 18 to August 1.

Similarly, US-based United Airlines has been allowed to operate 18 flights between July 17-31st.

At present, the civil aviation authorities of India and the UAE have agreed to allow operations of special repatriation flights between the two countries during July 12-26.

As per the arrangement, chartered flights operated by UAE carriers to fly out Indians from the UAE will be allowed to carry ICA (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship) approved UAE residents to their native country on their return leg.

Further, Indian carriers operating repatriation flights to bring back Indians from the UAE will be allowed to carry the ICA-approved UAE residents on their onward journey from India to the Gulf country.

Currently, the suspension on scheduled commercial international flight operations to and from India have been extended till July 31.

In repatriation operations under the Vande Bharat Mission, Puri said that till July 15, 687,467 passengers have been brought back to India.

On domestic operations, the minister said that passenger traffic is still under 33 per cent of capacity which comes to 100,000 passengers per day.

However, he exuded optimism that this number might rise to 55-60 per cent by November. (IANS)


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