India, Bangladesh flights to resume from today. Here's a look at air bubble arrangement

Published on Sep 03, 2021 05:59 AM IST
  • In a communication to the civil aviation authority of Bangladesh on August 28, the ministry of civil aviation said that the air bubble can be restarted from September 3 till the resumption of international passenger flights.
Prior to announcing the operation of flights, India imposed a number of restrictions for flights with limited passengers and strict health protocols for the passengers travelling from Bangladesh.(Reuters File photo)
Prior to announcing the operation of flights, India imposed a number of restrictions for flights with limited passengers and strict health protocols for the passengers travelling from Bangladesh.(Reuters File photo)
Written by Susmita Pakrasi | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Flights between India and Bangladesh under the bilateral air bubble pact will resume from Friday after four months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the civil aviation ministry. With scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remaining suspended since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Delhi has entered into air bubble arrangements with various countries, including Bangladesh, for operating flights. The pact with Bangladesh, which came into effect on October 28, 2020, was valid till March 27, 2021, wherein Indian and Bangladeshi carriers were permitted to operate services between the two nations.

India has an air bubble agreement with 28 countries, which include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and the United States. Under an air bubble pact between two nations, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.

In a communication to the civil aviation authority of Bangladesh on August 28, the ministry of civil aviation said that the air bubble can be restarted from September 3 till the resumption of international passenger flights. "The air bubble may be resumed w.e.f. 03.09.21 till resumption of scheduled international passenger flights," the ministry of civil aviation informed, according to news agency PTI. Domestic carriers -- SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air India -- will be operating flights to Dhaka.

Prior to announcing the operation of flights, India imposed a number of restrictions for flights with limited passengers and strict health protocols for the passengers travelling from Bangladesh. "Passengers travelling from Bangladesh to India shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned (port of entry)," the ministry of civil aviation said.

"Therefore instead of a blanket restriction of 140 passengers per aircraft, it is proposed that the capacity may be restricted to a specific percentage of the installed seat capacity of the aircraft (say 90 per cent or 95 per cent)," it added.

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