International Flights Latest News: Putting an end to the long wait of international flyers, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday said that the international flights will start operation to the US from today. Also Read - International Flights: Virgin Atlantic to Start Flights From London to Delhi, Mumbai From September | Check Details Here

Addressing a press conference, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said after much negotiation, the country has established individual bilateral bubbles with France and the US to allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights. Also Read - Dubai-Kozhikode Plane Crash: Air India Pilot Unions Seek Meeting With Aviation Minister Over Flight Safety

He also added that a similar arrangement with the UK and Germany will be permitted soon. Also Read - International Flights: Flying to Ireland, Israel, Hong Kong This Month? Keep These Travel Guidelines in Mind

United Airlines to start operation from today

The minister in the press conference added that the American carrier United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to 31.

He said the United Airlines is flying daily flight between Delhi and Newark and a thrice-a-week flight between Delhi and San Francisco.

“In case of the United States, we have an agreement with United Airlines to operate 18 flights between India and US from July 17 to 31 but this is an interim one,” Puri added.

Air France operating from July 18

According to the minister, Air France will start operations with 28 flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru to Paris between July 18 and August 1.

“We are at a very advance stage of negotiations with at least 3 countries – France, US and Germany for air bubble. Air France will be operating 28 flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru to Paris between July 18 and August 1,” Puri said.

Air bubbles with UK soon

However, the aviation minister noted that India is planning to establish a bubble with the UK soon under which there would be two flights per day between Delhi and London.

“We have got a request from Germans also. I think the arrangement with Lufthansa is almost done…We are processing that request,” Puri said. From India, Air India will be operating flights to France, Germany and the US under these bubbles.

What is air bubble?

An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions in which the arlines of the two countries can operate international flights. On July 9, India had announced an air bubble with the UAE that would be in place from July 12 to 26.

Notably, scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25.

India-UAE air bubble

According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the India-UAE air bubble was allowed on July 9 under specific conditions. Charter flights operated by the UAE carriers have been permitted to bring Indian citizens from the UAE to India and carry “ICA-approved UAE residents” on their return leg.

On India to the UAE journeys, all these flights have been permitted to carry only those passengers who are destined for the Gulf country.