New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: All international flights to and from India were banned after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 announced a nationwide lockdown to break the chain of the highly contagious coronavirus. However, with the situation marginally improving, the Centre has established an air bubble with several countries, allowing international passengers flights to resume their services in India.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation had recently informed that it has established air bubbles with two more countries, Ukraine and Bangladesh, taking the total number of countries with whom bilateral air bubbles have been formed to 18.

Here's the complete list of countries with whom India has signed an air bubble pact:

* United States of America
* United Kingdom
* Germany
* France
* United Arab Emirates
* Maldives
* Canada
* Japan
* Bahrain
* Afghanistan
* Nigeria
* Qatar
* Iraq
* Oman
* Bhutan
* Kenya
* Bangladesh
* Ukraine

The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had recently said that the government is further trying to establish air bubble pacts with 13 countries, including Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

He also noted that over 20 lakh people have travelled to and from India via repatriation flights since May 6, 2020.

However, there are several countries, including Germany and Hong Kong where flights from India are suspended because of lack of air travel bubble.

Which countries have banned flights from India?

Germany: The air bubble agreement between India and Germany was suspended over the fallout of several flights. However, the two sides have established the air bubble again and they will operate flights from October 26 to March 28.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has banned flights from India till October 30 after several passengers tested positive for the deadly coronavirus upon arrival. Meanwhile, this is not the first time when Hong Kong has banned flights from India. It had also banned Indian flights from September 20 to October 3 and from August 18 to August 31 earlier this year.

Dubai: Like Hong Kong, flights from India were also banned by Dubai last month after several passengers test coronavirus position post-arrival. However, the Dubai government has now allowed flights from India to resume their services.

What is an air bubble?

In simple terms, the air bubble is a temporary agreement between two countries to allow their national carriers to ferry passengers without any restrictions. This helps passengers to avert quarantine and coronavirus testing rules upon arrival.

It should be noted that establishing an air bubble doesn't mean a resumption of commercial international passenger flights. They are also different than repatriation flights, which are only one way.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma