International Flights Now Open For 17 Countries Under Air Bubble: Full List, SOPs & More
After the Covid-19 lockdown imposed international travel ban, now Indians can travel to 17 countries as the Ministry of Civil Aviation have established a separate bilateral air bubble arrangement with Ukraine.
Air Bubble With Ukraine
This arrangement will allow the operation of special international passenger flights between the two countries.
Transport Bubbles are temporary travel arrangements between two countries which are basically aimed to restart the commercial passenger services.
The arrangement is a replacement for the regular international flights which are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pact is reciprocal in nature so both the countries will enjoy similar benefits.
Prior to this, Indians could travel to 13 countries under the 6th phase of Vande Bharat Mission.
Who Can Travel?
Any Citizens / Residents of CIS countries (except Russia) or any Indian citizen, including holders of diplomatic and official passports, was assigned to any valid visa in Ukraine and CIS countries (except Russia) can travel from India to Ukraine.
In addition to that, the concerned airlines will have to ensure that there are no travel restrictions for Indian nationals to enter the respective country with a particular visa category before issuing tickets/boarding passes to Indian citizens.
Indian citizens in CIS countries (except Russia), all Overseas Indian Citizen (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by Ukraine can travel from Ukraine to India.
Apart from Ukraine, India has made a similar type of arrangement with 16 other countries.
The list includes – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, UK, and the USA.
Vande Bharat Mission
On May 6, the Centre started the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to help the stranded people in reaching their destinations via international repatriation flights who suffered due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Till October 13, 6,781 repatriation flights were operated by the Air India Group under the Vande Bharat Mission.
So far, these flights carried over 8.84 lakh passengers, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Out of these, 3,390 were outbound flights with 3,21,712 fliers while 3,391 were inbound flights who carried 5,63,203 passengers.
Currently, the mission is in its Phase 6 and will continue until November 30.
The normal International flights are expected to resume after vaccination is confirmed.