International Flights: India Signs Air Bubble Agreement With Sri Lanka

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In a bid to start the international flight operations between India and Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Govt of India on Friday finalize the air bubble agreement with Sri Lanka.

The air bubble between the two countries will be valid will the resumption of regular international flights.

the secretary of MoCA in a letter to DGCA said “I am directed to convey that an air travel bubble has been established between India and Sri Lanka with immediate effect and would remain valid till the resumption of scheduled international flights.”

As per the air bubble agreement, designated carriers of both the countries will be permitted to operate services between India and Sri Lanka under the bubble with the following conditions;

The flights from Sri Lanka to India will carry the following passengers:

  • Indian nationals and nationals of Nepal and Bhutan;
  • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and Person of Indian Origin cardholders holding passports of any country;
  • Nationals/residents of Sri Lanka (including diplomats) and foreigners (including diplomats) intending to visit India for any purpose (including their dependents on the appropriate category of dependent visa) except those on Tourist Visa;

The flights from India to Sri Lanka will carry the following passengers:

  • Following categories of Indian nationals. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Sri Lanka before the issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.
    • Indian businessmen on a Business Visa.
    • Indian healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers, and technicians for technical work at Sri Lanka health sector facilities, including laboratories and factories.
    • Indian engineering, managerial, design, or other specialists travelling to Sri Lanka on behalf of Indian business entities located in Sri Lanka.
    • Indian technical specialists and engineers travelling for installation, repair, and maintenance of Indian-origin machinery and equipment facilities in Sri Lanka, on the invitation of a registered Sri Lankan business entity.
    • Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka for leisure/pleasure purposes.
  • Nationals/residents of Sri Lanka.
    • Only such passengers should be carried from India who is destined for Sri Lanka. Similarly, passengers originating from Sri Lanka only should be carried from Sri Lanka to India.
    • Operations under this agreement shall be limited to the points of call available to the designated carriers of each country under the bilateral air service agreement.
    • The operations will be subject to strict adherence to the SOP issued by the civil aviation authorities and other COVID19 related guidelines issued by the authorities of both sides.
    • The designated airlines of both sides will be permitted to sell tickets between India and Sri Lanka in each direction through their websites, sales agents, and Global Distribution Systems.
    • DGCA may inform the Sri Lankan and Indian carriers accordingly.

Apart from Sri Lanka, India has signed an air bubble agreement with 27 other countries as well; which includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Ukraine, USA, and Uzbekistan.

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