After nearly 4-month hiatus, India-US international flights to resume today via 'air bubbles'2 min read . Updated: 17 Jul 2020, 08:29 AM IST
- American carrier United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from today
- Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India is working on similar agreements with the UK and Germany too
The international flights will start operation to the US from today. India has established individual bilateral 'air bubbles' with France, Germany and the US that will allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights, the civil aviation ministry said yesterday.
Air bubble with the US
American carrier United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from today to July 31.
"They (United) are flying a daily flight between Delhi and Newark and a thrice-a-week flight between Delhi and San Francisco," Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
"In an initiative to further expand our international civil aviation operations, air bubble arrangements with US, UAE, France & Germany are being put in place while similar arrangements are also being worked out with several other countries," Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.
Air France to operate from July 18
Air France will be operating 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris from July 18 to August 1
What is an air bubble?
An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions in which the carriers of the two countries can operate international flights. "Under this arrangement airlines from the concerned countries will be able to operate flights from & to India along with Indian carriers. I have no doubt these will be beneficial for our citizens who are stressed & distressed abroad or those who want to fly out,"Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in tweet.
From India, Air India will be operating flights to France, Germany and the US under these bubbles.
India-UK air bubbles soon
India is planning to establish a bubble with the UK soon under which there would be two flights per day between Delhi and London. "We have got a request from Germans also. I think the arrangement with Lufthansa is almost done...We are processing that request," Puri said.
On July 9, India had announced an air bubble with the UAE that would be in place from July 12 to 26.
India-UAE air bubble
The India-UAE air bubble was permitted on July 9 under specific conditions. Charter flights operated by the UAE carriers have been permitted to bring Indian citizens from the UAE to India and carry "ICA-approved UAE residents" on their return leg, said the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that till the international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, the answer lies in flying through bilateral air bubbles which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries, including India, are still imposing entry restrictions.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
-With agency inputs