India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has issued a statement saying “As we move from controlled and managed aviation evacuation of our citizens in different parts of the world and foreign nationals from India” we are now looking at the possibility of establishing bilateral arrangements, so called bilateral travel bubbles.

Britain is formulating ‘air bridge’ rules that would come into play on July 4 and is likely be announced on June 29

India is considering opening international air travel with countries including the U.S., France, Germany and U.K in a controlled manner. This development came just hours after the United States government threatened to restrict repatriation flights, accusing India of discriminatory practices and dodging Coronavirus restrictions. On Monday 22nd June the US Department of Transportation (DOT) served a notice to Air-India instructing to obtain prior approval for Air India’s Vande Bharat flights.

The US Department of Transportation pointed out that Air-India was selling tickets to the general public on repatriation flights while US airlines are being prohibited, alleging discriminatory and restrictive practices. It alleged that Air India’s so called evacuation flights have gone beyond true evacuations and by extending the sales of tickets online to any member of the public.

In May, American carrier, Delta sought permission from the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation to perform repatriation charter services similar to those provided by Air India. To date, Delta has not received approval to perform the requested repatriation charters.

This has created a competitive disadvantage for U.S. carriers,” DOT said. 

India’s Civil Aviation ministry later announced that it had received requests from US, France, Germany as well to allow their airlines to operate repatriation flights. India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has now issued a statement saying “As we move from controlled and managed aviation evacuation of our citizens in different parts of the world and foreign nationals from India” we are now looking at the possibility of establishing bilateral arrangements, so called bilateral travel bubbles.

A travel bubble (also called as bilateral air bubble, air bridge, travel corridor), is a travel arrangement between two countries that wish to reopen their borders and re-establish connections with each other. This will be an exclusive partnership considered between countries that have either largely eliminated the virus and trust their testing numbers.

Last week Spain announced travel bubble arrangement for British travellers. British holidaymakers are free to travel to Spain without the requirement to self-isolate in Spain, but will have to quarantine in the UK when they return.

According to reports, Britain is formulating ‘air bridge’ rules that would come into play on July 4 and is likely be announced on 29th June.

 

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