The civil aviation ministry has entered into air bubbles with 14 countries where Indians can fly. Talks are on with several other countries to facilitate two-way international travel. But there are some countries where Indians are not allowed to fly at this moment, implying that no air bubble can be set up with these countries as of now.
What are air bubbles?
Air bubbles are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger service at a time when regular international flights across the world are suspended. International flights were suspended in March as all countries imposed lockdown to combat the spread of Covid-19. Repatriation flights resumed in May, but these flights are different from air bubble flights as repatriation flights can’t carry passengers both ways.
Where Indians can’t fly to and why
As the countries are opening international travel gradually, the governments are in the process of identifying high-risk and safe countries. The European Union didn’t identify India as a safe country. However, India has air bubble with Germany and France.
South Africa: From October 1, South Africa will resume international travels. It is likely that the government will not allow Indians to travel to the country.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has barred all flights to and from India in its effort to check the Covid-19 situation there.
Hong Kong: This month, Hong Kong placed a bar on Air India flights blaming Indian travellers for an uptick in the number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong. This bar will be lifted soon. And there are other airlines operating to Hong Kong.
14 destinations where Indians can fly to
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, the UK, the US are the 14 countries where Indians can fly.