International flights: India-Germany flights to start from October 26 after brief suspension of air bubble
After a brief standoff over who is flying more planes amid Covid-19 pandemic leading to a brief suspension of the air bubble between India and Germany, the Air India on Friday tweeted that it would start its Germany flights from October 26. It indicates that the new agreement reached between the two countries has been extended till March 28, 2021.
Air bubbles are pacts signed by two countries allowing airlines of both the countries to fly. Under these agreements, the number of flights are restricted as all countries are now cautious so that the number of Covid-19 cases does not increase because of the resumption of international flights.
India alleged that Germany was flying more flights to India while the government restricted the number of Indian flights in the country. After India asks Lufthanasa to curtail its schedule, it cancelled all flights to India till October 20. Following which, Air India too cancelled all its flights to Frankfurt till October 14.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said Lufthansa was flying 20 flights a week while Indian carriers were operating only three to four flights. Lufthanasa was suggested to fly seven flights per week which the carrier rejected.
As a result of the brief suspension of the air bubble, several flights were cancelled. Those who have Air India tickets between October 20 and October 26 have been asked to contact the airline for rescheduling after October 26.
Commenting on the suspension of air bubble between India and Germany, Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri recently said that talks were on between the two countries. “The issue is not about allowing foreign carriers in or not. We are all for foreign carriers operating here. Make no mistake. But I think the time has come for the message to go out loud and clear that it will not be done at the expense of the Indian carriers. Under the regulated (air bubble) arrangements, we are not insisting on total parity. Even near parity will do,” the minister had said.