Lufthansa, one of the Europe's largest air carrier and Germany's largest air carrier has announced to cancel all flights to India starting September 30 till October 20 citing dispute with the centre. Lufthansa, in a statement said that Indian government has unexpectedly rejected the Lufthansa's flight schedule despite prior agreement under the air bubble pact.
Lufthansa, on Twitter, said - "Due to the Indian government’s unexpected rejection of Lufthansa’s planned flight schedule for October, Lufthansa will now have to cancel all planned flights between Germany and India between 30 September and 20 October."
Lufthansa further added that - "As of yet, we cannot comment on the development of the situation. Today, we had to cancel all flights between India and Germany scheduled between September 30th and Oct 20th."
India recently established bilateral bubble agreement with certain countries including the US, Germany and UK to ease the air travel for passengers flying in and out of the country despite travel ban due to COVID-19.
Germany was among the first countries with whom India established the air corridor and flights from both the sides, mainly Lufthansa from Germany and Air India from India were operating regular flights on these routes.
While Lufthansa will not be flying any flights in the coming days, Indian air carriers will continue to operate flights to Germany and back including cities like Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.
DGCA, Indian aviation body said - "India formalised an air bubble agreement with Germany in July. However, there are restrictions in place for Indians desiring to travel to Germany which was putting Indian carriers at a disadvantage resulting in an inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa."
On the other hand, Lufthansa has issued a statement stating - "Lufthansa sincerely urges the Indian authorities to work together with the German government in order to establish a temporary travel agreement between both countries. Such an agreement is necessary to address the urgent need of tens of thousands of Indians and foreign nationals for travel to and from India and would also help balance the interests of both countries’ airlines."
More and more people are travelling with the ease in travel restrictions and Lufthansa says it will put an unnecessary burden on travellers - "As visa issuance is restarting and demand for flights to and from India is increasing, it is regrettable that Lufthansa is currently being unnecessarily restricted in its ability to serve its loyal Indian customers and enable their desired travel," they added in the statement.