India Establishes Air Bubble Arrangement With Ethiopia

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The Ministry of Civil Aviation Ministry (MoCA) on Wednesday announced that India has established a separate bilateral air bubble arrangement with Ethiopia for operating special international passenger flights between India and Ethiopia.

Attention travellers! An air travel arrangement has been established between India and Ethiopia. Designated carriers of both countries are permitted to operate flights between the two countries. Please plan your travels accordingly,” the Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted.

As per the air bubble pact, Indian and Ethiopian carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Ethiopia and carry the following categories of persons on such flights;

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A. From India to Ethiopia

  • Stranded nationals/residents of Ethiopia, foreign nationals destined for Africa and transiting through Ethiopia 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 the 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 Ethiopia 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 the appropriate category of dependent visa) except those on Tourist Visa; and
  • Seamen from countries of Africa.

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

Till now, India has the same air bubble arrangements in place with total of 22 countries which includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK) And, United States of America (USA)

What is a bilateral air bubble?

“Transport Bubbles” or “Air Travel Arrangements” are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reciprocal in nature, meaning airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits.

Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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However, special international passenger flights have been operating in India under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements formed between India and other countries since July.


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