As the COVID-19 Pandemic is beginning to show signs of slow down, India has announces the starting of flights between 49 cities under the Air Bubble 2021 pact with 18 countries in September.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation‘s latest notification. Under an air-bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.
“Transport Bubbles” or “Air Travel Arrangements” are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reciprocal in nature, meaning airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits
The schedule of these flights is available only till September 30. While, the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has continued till September 30 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
India has formed air-bubble pacts with around 28 countries, including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, and France.
For a passenger who have plans to visit abroad then he/she may check the list of cities with which India has approved the air bubble agreement. Also, passengers need to book tickets to these countries via the Air India website, Air India offices, and travel agents.
Before making any reservations in the flights being operated under the above arrangements, the passengers must confirm that they would be allowed entry into the destination country
The other international cities where passengers can travel in September are:
- Canada-Toronto and Vancouver
- Sri Lanka-Colombo
- UAE-Dubai and Abu Dhabi
- UK-London and Birmingham
- USA-Chicago, Washington, Newark, and San Francisco
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Indian airlines and airports incurred financial losses worth ₹22,400 crore in the financial year 2021 as the country suspended flight operations on March 23 due to the Covid pandemic.
Though domestic airline operations resumed in May 2020, international flights operated under the Air Bubble agreements and Vande Bharat mission.
All the airlines are permitted to sell tickets between India and the respective countries in each direction through their websites, sales agents and Global Distribution Systems.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has reported a reduction in its revenue from ₹2,976.17 crore during April-June 2019 to approximately ₹889 crore during April-June 2021.