Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has today announced that the government is in a very advance stage of negotiations for air bubble or bilateral bubbles with at least three countries - France, US & Germany. The minister, in the press conference, confirmed that the next course of action for the government would be to start international flights based on bilateral agreements with certain countries.
As per the agreements, Air France will be operating 28 flights from Delhi, Mumbai & Bengaluru to Paris between July 18 to August 1. In case of the United States, the agreement with United Airlines is in place to operate 18 flights between India-US between July 17 to July 31. However the agreement is an interim one.
Our negotiations are at an advanced stage with 3 countries. Air France will operate 28 flights from July 18 to Aug 1 b/w Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Paris. US will be flying 18 flights b/w July 17-31 but this is an interim one. We have request from Germany too: Civil Aviation Min pic.twitter.com/J4olL7lPmT— ANI (@ANI) July 16, 2020
HS Puri also informed that the government have a request from Germany and an agreement with Lufthansa is almost done. Apart from France, US and Germany, talks of Air Bubbles is in advanced stage with the UK and similar arrangement in place is with UAE till 26th August, 2020.
Explaining the rationale behind the air bubble, he said that till the international civil aviation reclaim its pre-COVID numbers and normalize globally, India will rely on bilateral air bubbles for transporting international passengers.
Minister Puri further added that the bilateral air bubbles can carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions including India.