India in talks with 13 countries to resume flights under air bubbles1 min read . Updated: 18 Aug 2020, 06:17 PM IST
- At present, India has international air travel arrangements under bilateral air bubbles in place with countries like US, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar and Maldives
New Delhi: India is in talks with as many as 13 countries for resumption of international flights under bilateral air bubbles, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday.
"These countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand," Puri said on a social media post on Twitter.
"The ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians and nationals of these countries," he added.
At present, India has international air travel arrangements under bilateral air bubbles in place with countries like US, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar and Maldives.
Bilateral air bubbles is a mechanism to resume international flights between India and other countries with certain preconditions, which regulates movement in view of the covid-19 pandemic.
"Air bubbles have also been proposed with our neighbors Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal & Bhutan. Going forward, we will consider such arrangements with other countries also," Puri added.
International flights to and from India have been in suspension since March as various countries went into lockdown to prevent the spread of covid-19, although the government-owned Air India has carried out repatriation flights to bring stranded Indians home.
Indian airlines, including private carriers, have recently been allowed to operate international repatriation and charter flights while certain foreign airlines have also been given permission to operate similar flights to and from India.
Indian private airlines like IndiGo, and SpiceJet, among others have operated international charter and repatriation flights in the recent past.
Separately, full service carrier Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, will operate special, non-stop flights between Delhi and London's Heathrow from 28 August to 30 September 2020, marking its foray in long-haul international operations, the airline said in a statement.
No-frills carrier SpiceJet Limited is also set to start non-stop flights to London from September.