The Ministry of Civil Aviation recently announced that it has established bilateral air bubbles with countries including the US, France, and Germany. Following the same, the Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that Air India will operate International flights from July 22 to August 31. The routes include 30 flights a week to the US (New York, Chicago, Washington, New Jersey, and San Francisco), 4 flights a week to Germany (Frankfurt) and 3 flights a week to France (Paris).
Establishment of similar air corridors between India and countries including Canada, the UK, other European and Gulf countries are underway as well. Passengers who wish to travel to the aforementioned countries can refer to the quick guide below to familiarise with the regulations.
What is an air bubble?
An air bubble is essentially a temporary arrangement between two countries to restart commercial flight services at a time when regular international flights are suspended due to COVID-19. Under the arrangement, airlines from both countries are allowed to operate.
Which International Airlines are Flying Right Now?
Under the new arrangements, airlines including Air India, United Airlines, Air France and Lufthansa will operate to and fro from their respective countries.
How Many Flight Will Operate?
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India’s national airline carrier Air India will operate approximately 222 flights to destinations including the US, France and Germany between July 22 and August 31.Similarly, Air France is operating 28 flights from July 18 to August 1 while the United Airlines is operating 18 flights between Delhi and US till July end.
Is Tourist Visa Applicable for Flights Under the Air Corridor?
The aforementioned flights are only open to stranded Indian citizens, OCI card holders & diplomats. Domestic passengers and Indian nationals on valid tourist visas cannot fly to these countries.
Who Can Fly to the US from India?
Passengers wo wish to travel to US-bound international flight from India must either be US citizens, diplomats, permanent residents, OCI cardholders, or Indian nationals with US visa of at least one-month validity.
Who all can Fly to France and Germany from India?
French and German citizens, stranded EU citizens, permanent residents, OCI cardholders who are stranded in neighbouring countries will have to obtain permission to exit through India.
Seamen of foreign nationalities and Indian seamen can travel with permission from the Ministry of Shipping.
Also, Indian nationals with visas of at least one-month validity other than tourist visas can travel.
It is to be noted that the special arrangements have been aimed to repatriate stranded Indians, foreigners, green card holders, permanent legal residents, and those on employment and education visas with a minimum of one month's validity. It is advisable to check the restrictions in your destination country before booking the tickets.