Passengers taking international flights from India need not apply to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and can directly book their tickets with the airlines, said an official statement on Wednesday. A standard operating protocol issued by the Home Ministry on August 22 stated that persons who are eligible to travel on outbound flights "will apply to MoCA or an agency/agencies designated by MoCA for this purpose with necessary details, including places of departure & arrival".
The MoCA said on Twitter on Wednesday that it "has designated all the airlines operating under Vande Bharat Mission & air transport bubble arrangements as designated agencies for this purpose". "Passengers may book tickets directly with the airlines concerned. They need not apply/register with the Ministry of Civil Aviation," it added.
While scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, special international flights have been operating under Vande Bharat Mission and bilateral air bubble arrangements. Since July this year, India has signed separate bilateral air bubble arrangements with various countries like the US, the UK, the UAE, Germany, France and Qatar.
Under a bilateral bubble pact, airlines of both countries can operate special international passenger flights with certain restrictions.