Air Bubble: Indians Can Now Travel To Netherlands and Rwanda

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Ministry of Civil Aviation has signed new air bubble agreement with Netherlands and Rwanda. Indian can now travel to these countries under the air travel bubble arrangement without any approvals.

This takes the total number of countries, to where Indians now can travel, to 21. Viz. Afghanistan, Bhutan, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Netherlands, Canada, Iraq, Kenya, Oman and Ukraine.

As Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier pointed out, air bubbles are “at a stage short of normal civil aviation activities.” In other words, these flights are a little more evolved than the repatriation flights, but have not yet reached the ‘normal’ stage.

Under the arrangement, airlines from both the countries are allowed to operate a specified number of flights between cities.

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Netherlands

India has created an air bubble arrangement with Netherlands. This will come into force on 01.11.2020. Indian and Maldivian carriers are now permitted to operate flights between India and Netherlands and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Netherlands:

  • Stranded nationals/residents of Netherlands, foreign nationals destined for EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only and transiting through Netherlands or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise;
  • Any Indian national or national of Nepal or Bhutan destined for any country in EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only and holding a valid visa of the destination country. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese nationals to enter the destination country before issue of ticket/boarding pass to the Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese passenger; and
  • Seamen of foreign nationalities and Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping. Seamen should be destined for countries in the EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only.

B. From Netherlands to India:

  • Indian nationals or nationals of Nepal or Bhutan stranded in any country in EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only;
  • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and PIO cardholders holding passports of any country;
  • All foreign nationals (from any country in EU/Schengen area,South America or Africa only) intending to visit India for any purpose (including their dependents on appropriate category of dependent visa) except those on Tourist Visa; and
  • Seamen from EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only.

Passengers traveling on flights from India to Netherlands should be destined for countries in the EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only.Similarly, only passengers originating from countries in the EU/Schengenarea, South America or Africa should be allowed to travel on the flights from Netherlands to India.

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Rwanda

India has created an air bubble arrangement with the State of Rwanda with effect from 01.11.2020. Indian carriers and carriers of Rwanda are now permitted to operate flights between India and Rwanda and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Rwanda:

  • Stranded nationals/residents of Rwanda, foreign nationals destined for Africa and transiting through Rwanda or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise;
  • Any Indian national or national of Nepal or Bhutan destined for any country in Africa and holding a valid visa for the destination country. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian/ Nepalese/Bhutanese nationals to enter the destination country with the particular visa category before issue of ticket / boarding pass to the Indian/ Nepalese/Bhutanese passenger; and
  • Seamen of foreign nationalities and Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping. Seamen should be destined to countries of Africa only.

B. From Rwanda to India:

  • Indian nationals or nationals of Nepal or Bhutan stranded in any country in Africa;
  • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders holding passports of any country;
  • All foreign nationals (from any country in Africa) intending to visit India for any purpose (including their dependents on appropriate category of dependent visa) except those on Tourist Visa; and
  • Seamen from countries of Africa.

Passengers traveling on flights from India to Rwanda should be destined for African countries only. Similarly, only passengers originating from countries in Africa should be allowed to travel on flights from Rwanda to India.

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