India to create individual bilateral bubbles to resume international flights


Representational image: An Air India 787 Dreamliner readies for departure as other fleet of Boeing 777, 747 are seen in the backdrop. (iStock)
Representational image: An Air India 787 Dreamliner readies for departure as other fleet of Boeing 777, 747 are seen in the backdrop. (iStock)

EYEING to restart international flights, India is all set to create individual bilateral bubbles which will allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate flights. The country is in talks with the US and Canada and the countries in European and Gulf regions, said Arvind Singh, chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI).

He revealed that India is working on a consensus to restart the international flights through air bubbles.

“Talks are mainly going on between India and the US, India and Canada, India and Europe and India and the Gulf countries to start flights in these bubbles,” he said. Singh added that the talks are at ‘very advanced’ levels.

Scheduled international passenger flights remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU has presently banned the flights from India as the number of coronavirus cases are rising in the country. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had on June 20 said the government will start thinking on the resumption of scheduled international passenger flights in mid-July, when it expects the domestic air traffic to reach 50-55 per cent of the levels before the coronavirus.

The government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25. However, it had then allowed the airlines to operate the maximum 33 per cent of their pre-Covid flights.

Air India started international chartered flights under the Vande Bharat Mission from May 6 to help people stranded due to the pandemic reach their destinations.