India establishes air travel bubbles with France, US, similar plan in talks with Germany, UK; flights from July 17
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Till the time international flights get back to its pre-COVID numbers, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that India will focus on creating air travel bubbles with countries to transport international passengers.
Puri said that has established individual bilateral bubbles with France and the US that will allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights. The minister also said that a similar kind of bubble will soon be permitted for flights to and from the UK and Germany.
Addressing a press conference, Puri said that Air France will be operating 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris from July 18 to August 1. He also said that American carrier United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 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," Puri said as reported by news agency PTI.
"We have got a request from Germans also. I think the arrangement with Lufthansa is almost done...We are processing that request," Puri added.
"Now we have many demands for air bubbles, but we need to be careful. We should permit that many only that we can handle," the minister further noted adding that from India, Air India will be operating flights to France and US under these bubbles.
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.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25.
However, it had then allowed the airlines to operate a maximum 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. The MOCA increased the limits on June 26 from 33 per cent to 45 per cent.
"We are assuming that by the time Diwali comes this year, we would have 55-60 per cent of pre-COVID domestic flights operating in India," Puri said at the press conference.
(With PTI Inputs)
Posted By: Talib Khan