RUSRURIZM — 28 sep 2020
India International flights Explained: Latest relaxations and restrictions on air travel
Currently, India has air bubble arrangements with 13 countries. These are the US, the UK, Germany, France, the UAE, Maldives, Canada, Japan, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Qatar and Iraq.
Even as India continues to add to its air bubble arrangements, a number of jurisdictions have began restricting travel from India because of the high Covid19 case-load in the country. However, the broader direction in which the government is moving as far as air travel is concerned is lifting restrictions that were imposed at the time of restarting of operations.
Which countries does India have air bubble arrangements with?
Currently, India has air bubble arrangements with 13 countries. These are the US, the UK, Germany, France, the UAE, Maldives, Canada, Japan, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Qatar and Iraq. The Centre is also negotiating these arrangements with other countries like Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Israel, Kenya, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. In addition to air bubble flights, Indian carriers are flying to these countries under the Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indian citizens.
Which jurisdictions have restricted air travel from India?
While some countries like Kuwait have a blanket ban on travel to and from India, jurisdictions like Hong Kong have an ongoing suspension on Air India’s flights to its airport till October 3. Hong Kong had banned Air India’s Vande Bharat flights for two weeks after several passengers brought in by the airline tested positive for coronavirus upon testing. Authorities in Dubai also banned Air India Express flights after the airline carried Covid19 positive passengers on two different occasions. The emirate however overturned its ban after the airline profusely apologised. Another west Asian country Saudi Arabia earlier this week announced a ban on travel to and from India, along with Brazil and Argentina, for high caseloads but later allowed Vande Bharat repatriation flights to fly passengers to India from airports such as Riyadh and Dammam.