Therefore, at the earliest, the Union minister should conclude a « temporary agreement on the air traffic bubble » with Singapore and Malaysia to resolve the difficulties of the Tamil diaspora in these countries, Stalin demanded. Scheduled international flights were suspended in March 2020 with the announcement of a national lockdown. Initially, only repatriation flights and charter flights were operated. Starting in July 2020, India began signing aviation bubble agreements with countries. Currently, India has such pacts with 31 countries. In addition, the agreements are only supposed to be « end-to-end », i.e. they do not apply to subsequent travel to a third country, which means that travellers often have to interrupt their journey at several locations to get to a destination to which India does not allow direct flights. At a recent event hosted by a Delhi-based think tank, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia was confronted with a series of questions from ambassadors and high commissioners on the subject and was « besieged » by demands to normalize air flights to pre-COVID levels, participants said. Tamil Nadu Prime Minister M.K.

Stalin on Thursday wrote to the EU`s civil aviation minister to reach an agreement with Singapore and Malaysia on the provision of « air traffic bubbles » to address the difficulties faced by the Tamil diaspora in those countries. While some European countries are experiencing a second wave of infections, air bubbles that allow citizens to travel freely between certain countries under mutual agreement appear to be the « new normal », » even if demand for international air travel remains tepid. In fact, the Union`s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, said India was negotiating air bubble deals with 13 other countries. While scheduled flights to India remain suspended due to the new variant of the omicron coronavirus, India has announced a new bubble flight agreement with Saudi Arabia. Passengers will be able to t. To mitigate a variety of Covid-10 quarantine and testing rules in arrival destinations, governments are implementing « air bubble » agreements between countries. Air bubbles or travel corridors are systems established between two countries that perceive each other as safe and allow airlines from both countries to carry passengers in both directions without restrictions. While domestic flights resumed in May 2020, international airlines were only allowed to operate on certain routes under bilateral bubble agreements. Currently, capacity on international roads is between 40 and 45% of the winter level of 2019. Asked why requests from several countries to set up air bubbles were not heeded, Civil Aviation Ministry officials said the COVID situation was the first concern, followed by the « ability of Indian airlines and whether or not our airlines are willing to fly to these destinations. » Air traffic bubble flights are essentially scheduled flights, but they are operated under different conditions. For example, airlines are only allowed to sell tickets for a limited number of subsequent destinations.

In the case of some countries, bubble agreements only allow point-to-point traffic. According to an aviation industry source, the bubbles also « favor » Gulf airlines, which have now become virtually « national airlines for India. » Only four European countries, including the UK, have bubble deals with India and operate around 42 flights a week between India and Europe. In contrast, India has agreements with five West Asian countries (Gulf), and Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad (United Arab Emirates) alone operate 185 flights to India, the source said. The Embassy of India in Saudi Arabia wrote on Twitter: « The Embassy is pleased to announce the air bubble agreement between India and Saudi Arabia as of January 1, 2022. » Read also – Good news! The third dose could give a big boost to the effectiveness of omicron vaccines, according to a study Although India has extended its embargo on international flights until September 30, « air bubbles » or « air bridges » have become the only way in which international commercial travel has resumed since mid-July. Since then, the number of air bubbles in India has risen to 13, with Japan being the youngest country to make the list. « There is a general feeling that air bubbles have been dragging on for too long. International flights could resume in December-January. The way of thinking within government has changed recently as COVID cases decline, » an official told The Hindu, acknowledging that the government was now feeling pressure to rethink its policies.

« India has reached an air bubble agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Indian airlines and Saudi Arabian airlines are now allowed to operate flights between India and Saudi Arabia and carry passengers on flights defined in the agreement. Traffic carried to/from India consists only of passengers from/to Saudi Arabia, and likewise, traffic to/from Saudi Arabia consists only of passengers to India, » the official statement was quoted as saying by the Economic Times. .