India To Increase International Flights Under Air Bubble Arrangement

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In a bid to meet the high demand from international passengers the Indian Govt is in discussions with both domestic and international airlines and other countries to increase the international flights, under the air bubble agreements.

This comes as India recovers from the aftermath of COVID-19 and the world opens up to international travel again.

“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.

As per the report of Money Control, an official said, “While the government is open to the idea of increasing flights to destinations on a need-to-be basis, it is still unlikely to lift the restrictions on international flights soon.”

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The Aviation Authorities are looking to increase flights to Dubai, Singapore, France, the UK, the US, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Australia in the next few weeks.

“There are constant discussions between the high commission of every country, and, wherever required, we are looking to increase flights under the air bubble agreements,” an official said.

It usually takes the government a week to review and allocate flights under the agreement, he said.

“Re-opening international commercial flights is still a while away. We can surely consider opening once demand nears pre-COVID levels,” the official further added.

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India To Collect Data of International Passengers

The Indian Govt is also planning to collect data of international passengers and corresponding COVID-19 cases after November 15 to determine if it is safe for commercial flights to open up as the threat of the third wave of COVID-19 is still at large.

“We have to ensure that our tourist hotspots are safe and we will collect data of foreign tourists arriving to ensure that no case of COVID-19 infection goes unattended,” another official said.

India Allows Entry of Foreign Tourists

Earlier this month the Govt. of India has issued guidelines for relaxation in Tourists Visa and announced that it will start issuing fresh visas for foreign tourists starting from today, 15th Oct 2021.

In the new guidelines, the govt said that it will be granting tourist visas to foreign tourists entering India via land routes will not be issued visas.

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Relaxation On Visa and Travel For Foreign Tourists

  • All foreign nationals intending to visit India for tourism purposes will be allowed to enter into India on e-Tourist Visa/Tourist Visa through Charted flights (for group tourism only) from October 15, 2021; and
  • All individual foreign nationals intending to visit India for tourism purposes will be allowed to enter into India on an e-Tourist visa/Tourist Visa W.E.F. 15.11.2021.

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