More foreign airlines for Indian flyers under travel bubbles | All you need to know
As India is exploring options to set up air bubbles with more countries to facilitate international travel in a restricted manner, a number of foreign airlines from countries with which India has already set up air bubbles have resumed their operations in the country. America’s United Airlines has recently announced direct flights to Delhi and Bengaluru, which will start between December 2020 and January 2021.
Here’s all you need to know
1. International flight operations were suspended on March 22, before the nationwide lockdown was imposed to fight the spread of Covid-19. From May 7, Air India resumed repatriating flights under Vande Bharat Mission, which entered its sixth phase in September.
2. Starting from July end, India entered into air bubbles with a few select countries to facililitate two-way operations. While repatriation flights can operate one way, air bubble flights can operate both ways. These bubbles allow foreign airlines to operate in India as well.
3. So far, India has transport bubbles with the US, the UK, Canada, Qatar, France, Germany, Afghanistan, the Maldives, and the UAE.
4. India is in talks with 13 other countries, including Australia, Italy, japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, to set up air bubbles.
5. List of foreign airlines operating in India: United Airlines (Chicago),Emirates (Dubai), Etihad (Abu Dhabi), Air France (Paris), Lufthansa (Germany), Air Canada (Canada), Virgin Atlantic (England)
6. Not everyone can fly to foreign destinations at this moment. International travel is subject to several conditions by the Centre and also the destination country.
7. United Airlines has announced non-stop flights daily between Chicago and New Delhi starting from December. From January 2021, United will operate between San Francisco and Bengaluru.
8. Regular international flights are still suspended. Setting up more air bubbles is presently the only way to step up international travel.
9. Meanwhile, Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission flights will continue
10. Under air bubbles, foreign carriers can’t fly passengers to and from any other destination apart from the countries which have entered into the pact.