India in talks with 3 countries to establish ‘air bubble’ for resumption of int’l flights

Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi (NVI): Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today said India is in negotiations with three countries to establish ‘Air Bubble’ arrangements for allowing international flight operations under pre-conditions.

While addressing a media briefing, Puri said, “Negotiations are at an advanced stage with 3 countries. Air France will operate 28 flights from July 18 to Aug 1 between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Paris.”

He further added, “US will be flying 18 flights between July 17-31 but this is an interim one. We have requests from Germany too to carry out flight operations.”

The Aviation Minister also underlined that bilateral air bubbles will be the way to resume international travel amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Till international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-Covid numbers, I think the answer will lie through bilateral air bubbles which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions including India,” Puri said.

Earlier this month, Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman, Arvind Singh had said that India is in talks with the US and Canada and the countries in European and Gulf regions on establishing individual bilateral bubbles which will allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights.

Scheduled international passenger flights have remained suspended in India since March 23 due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.