Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday that India is negotiating with 13 more countries to establish separate air bubble arrangements for international flight operations. Under a bilateral air bubble agreement, both countries can operate to and fro flights with some restrictions.
Since July, India has established air bubbles with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Maldives. “We are now taking these efforts forward and are negotiating with 13 more countries to establish such arrangements,” Puri tweeted. “These countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.”
The minister said air bubbles have also been proposed with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. “Going forward, we will consider such arrangements with other countries also,” he tweeted. “It is always our endeavour to reach out to every stranded citizen. No Indian will be left behind.”
India suspended all international flights in March, before it imposed a nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. However, the country has been repatriating its citizens living abroad, through a scheme called Vande Bharat Mission.