Since as early as March 22, 2020, international flights have been suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak and now when the domestic flights have become operational from May, international passenger flights are still to take off. Nonetheless, few cargo and evacuation fights are currently running as part of Vande Bharat Mission.
And now as some of the nations are opening up their borders including the likes of the European Union and later the UK, our country has not been put in the allowed category of 'travel corridors'. But lately Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said talks are in advanced stage with the UK for initiating an exclusive air bubble.
What Is Air Bubble Travel?
In a situation as in the current scenario, any resumption of flights between countries on the basis of a bilateral agreement with some rules and restrictions is what is referred as air bubble for travel. And this exclusive partnership is between countries that have either eliminated or controlled the virus outbreak, or trust the testing numbers.
Air Bubble With the US and France For International Flights
After a hiatus of over 4 months, flights between India and the US and India and France will resume basis the bilateral agreement or air bubble. Also, the country is considering forming air bubbles with Germany and the UK.
So, while the international flights remain suspended until July 31, 2020, international flights to and from these countries will be allowed.
Why air bubbles being considered now?
The Indian civil aviation ministry considered air travel bubbles after US restricted Vande Bharat flights making an allegation that they are engaging in unfair and "discriminatory practices." Air India for entering the US needed their government's consent to operationalise such flights.