The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has restricted scheduled commercial international flights from India till December 31, 2020. However, this does not include flights to and from countries with which India has established air bubbles.
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What are air bubble arrangements?
Air bubbles or air travel corridors are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services since regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Air bubbles allow airlines of both the countries to fly passengers between them based on certain eligibility criteria.
Until last week, India had travel arrangements with 22 countries, namely Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ukraine, UAE, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
New air bubble with Nepal
Now, India has established a new air bubble with the neighbouring country of Nepal, taking its total air bubble arrangements with other countries to 23. Hardeep Singh Puri, the Civil Aviation Minister announced this news on his official Twitter handle:
Normal flight services resume with Nepal under an Air Bubble Arrangement. Indians & Nepalese nationals & all those having valid Indian visa (except tourist visa). OCI & PIO card holders will also be able to travel. @airindiain & @NepalAirlinesRA will operate one daily flight each
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) December 11, 2020
Nepal Airlines has released the schedule of flights between Delhi and Kathmandu, which will begin operations from December 17, 2020. The airline will operate daily flights on this route. Passengers can check the flight details and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) below:
Indians flying under air bubble arrangements allowed to further travel to more countries
In a series of tweets, the MoCA has now allowed flyers to travel to other countries in Africa, the European Union and South America through connecting flights from countries with which air bubbles are already established.
This means that passengers travelling under air bubble arrangements between India and Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania can now further travel to any country in Africa.
Those travelling between India and Ukraine can travel to and from other Commonwealth of Independent States, better known as CIS countries ( Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine), except Russia.
Travellers flying to France, Germany and the Netherlands under the air bubble arrangements can now further travel to EU/Schengen Area, South American and African countries.
Along with this, travellers flying under the air bubble arrangements between India – Qatar and India – UAE can further travel to South America and Africa.
In another significant development, the government has also allowed Nepalese and Bhutanese passengers along with Indian nationals to travel under the air bubble arrangements with Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Kenya, Netherlands, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ukraine and the UAE.
Note: Check all the documents required before flying to air bubble countries here.
We wish our passengers a safe and comfortable flight!
Image credits: Nepal Airlines
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