Unlock 4.0 | International Flights Under VBM and Air Bubbles: FAQ Answered

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The Home Ministry of India has released the guidelines for the Unlock 4.0, applicable from September 1 till September 30.

In the guidelines, the government has decided to open up transport further by allowing Metro Trains to run from September 7.

However, the scheduled international flights will remain suspended; International flights to only operate like before in a calibrated manner under the Air Bubble Pact with various countries and also Vande Bharat Mission Phase 6.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation banned international flights from March 23 and carried out a unique repatriation operation to push back stranded nationals from different countries as part of the Vande Bharat Mission, as air travel around the globe, especially international flights, remains suspended.

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Last month, the MoCA said that it had signed bilateral agreements with countries like the US, France, and Germany.

The establishment of similar air corridors between India and countries like Canada, Great Britain, other European countries, and the Gulf States have also been completed.

Passengers planning to travel to the above countries can use the following quick guide to familiarize themselves with the regulations.

What Is An Air Bubble?


Simply, an air bubble is a temporary agreement between two countries to resume commercial flight service at a time when regular international flights are suspended due to COVID-19.

Under the agreement, airlines from both countries are allowed to operate, in contrast to Mission Vande Bharat, where only Indian carriers were allowed to operate.

Which International Airlines Are Flying Right Now?


Currently, Air India, United Airlines, Air France, and Lufthansa among other air carriers will operate to and from their respective countries.

Is Tourist Visa Applicable For Flights Under The Air Corridor?


Yes, certain countries like Dubai have allowed tourists to fly into a country with certain restrictions.

However, most flights still bring out stranded Indian citizens, OCI cardholders, and diplomats. If the country has not approved a tourist visa, Indian nationals cannot fly to these countries.

Who Can Fly To The US From India?


Anyone who wants to travel to US-bound international flight from India must either be US citizens, diplomats, permanent residents, OCI cardholders, or Indian nationals with a US visa of at least one-month validity.

Also note that the special arrangements have made to bring back stranded Indians, foreigners, green card holders, permanent legal residents, and those on employment and education visas with a minimum of one month’s validity.

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Moreover, we advise you to check the restrictions in your destination country before booking the tickets.


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Also Read – DGCA Extends Suspension of Scheduled International Flights till September 30

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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