Finally, a piece of good news for those who are waiting to travel to Saudi Arabia! India has established a bilateral air bubble arrangement with Saudi Arabia to start the operation of special international passenger flights between India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
After this air bubble arrangement with Saudi Arabia, India has taken the total number of such arrangements to 35 countries which include;
Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and Uzbekistan
It is worth mentioning here that earlier this month Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation told Lok Sabha that India has sent a proposal to Saudi Arabia and nine other countries for operating flights under the air bubble agreement.
India – Saudi Arabia Air Bubble Agreement
Under this air bubble agreement, both Indian and Saudi Arabian carriers are allowed to operate flights between India and Saudi Arabia, and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:
From India to Saudi Arabia
- Nationals/residents of Saudi Arabia;
- Any Indian national or national of Nepal or Bhutan holding a valid visa of Saudi Arabia and destined for Saudi Arabia only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese nationals to enter Saudi Arabia before issue of ticket/boarding pass to the Indian/Nepalese /Bhutanese passenger.
From Saudi Arabia to India
- Indian nationals or nationals of Nepal or Bhutan in Saudi Arabia;
- Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders holding passports of any country. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Non-Indian nationals to enter India with a particular visa category before issuing of ticket/boarding pass to the passenger; and
- Saudi Arabian nationals (including diplomats) holding a valid Indian visa as per extant guidelines.
Traffic carried to/from India shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to Saudi Arabia only, and similarly, traffic carried to/from Saudi Arabia shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to India only.
Earlier this week the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia has informed us that the country has approved the Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for travel and Indian nationals vaccinated with ‘Covaxin’ can now enter the Kingdom.
“Embassy is pleased to inform that Indian nationals vaccinated with ‘Covaxin’ are now approved to enter the Kingdom. Vaccine certificates are to be uploaded at the Ministry of Health website for residents and at the Muqeem website for visitors.”
Indian Postponed Opening of Scheduled International Flights
last month the Govt of India has announced it will resume operations of scheduled international flights with several countries starting 15th December 2021, but later the DGCA of India on has postponed the opening of scheduled international flights amid the concern of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.