On Thursday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri gave an update about when India is likely to resume its international air travel.
In a press conference, He said,
“Unless the international civil aviation space reclaims its pre-COVID space, air bubbles are the only answer to restart international flights. We will carry as many people as we can through these air bubbles. But it will not be as it was before COVID. There will be some checks and balances as the foreign countries are also imposing restrictions. So even if you have a visa and all, special permissions will be required.”
He further explained how the process may look like,
“For example, Air France will be operating 28 flights between Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Paris from 18 July to August 1. We have requested from German carriers to permit flights to India and we are processing it, while the US will be flying 18 flights between July 17-31, but this is an interim one.”
What is an Air Bubble?
A travel bubble or a bilateral air bubble is a corridor of travel between two countries who wish to reopen their borders and re-establish the previous connections. This will be an exclusive partnership between the two countries who have either eliminated the virus or trust each other.
Currently, India is considering resuming air travel with the United States, United Kingdom, Maldives, France, and Germany. Further information regarding the same is awaited from the ministry of civil aviation.
The coronavirus cases in India rose to 9,74,737 with 6,14,894 people successfully recovered. Close to 3,34,000 active cases are in the country. The death toll has crossed 24,000 marks. The top four most affected states are Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.