Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday in a tweet said that India is negotiating with 13 countries to establish separate bilateral air bubble arrangements for international flight operations.
“We’re taking our efforts forward and negotiating with 13 more countries to establish air travel arrangements. These include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand,” said Puri in a series of tweets.
These countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 18, 2020
The ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians & nationals of these countries.
“The ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians & nationals of these countries,” Puri further said.
Air bubbles have also been proposed with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan, Puri added.
Puri said his ministry will continue to further strengthen the reach and scope of Vande Bharat Mission and that air travel arrangements are already in place with USA, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar, and the Maldives.
Going forward, Puri said, India will consider such bilateral air bubble arrangements with countries apart from the ones mentioned above.
“Going forward, we’ll consider such arrangements with other countries also. it’s always our endeavor to reach bent every stranded citizen. No Indian will be left behind,” Puri said on Twitter.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, India resumed domestic flight operations on May 25.
However, the average occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around just 50-60 percent since May 25. Currently, airlines in India are permitted to operate 45 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.