New Delhi: After the United States restricted charter flights from India, accusing the country of unfair and discriminatory practices, India on Tuesday said it is considering establishing “individual bilateral bubbles” with the US, the UK, Germany and France allowing airlines of each country in the pact to operate international passenger flights.Also Read - International Flights: India Revises Guidelines, Makes 7-day Home Quarantine Must For Air Passengers
Issuing a statement, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation said as it is contemplating further opening up in response to demands, it is looking at the prospect of establishing individual bilateral bubbles, India-US, India-France, India-Germany and India-UK. Also Read - West Bengal Revises Guidelines, Allows Flights From Mumbai, Delhi On 3 Days Every Week. Details HERE
The statement from the ministry comes after the US Department of Transportation announced on Monday that it has barred Air India from operating chartered flights between India and the United States from July 22 without its prior approval, in apparent retaliation for the Indian government not allowing American carriers to operate between the two countries. Also Read - International Flights: India Issues Fresh Guidelines For Air Passengers; Makes Sample Collection, Thermal Screening Mandatory
In a statement, the US Department of Transportation said that a foreign air carrier of India “will be required, effective 30 days after the service date of this Order, to obtain prior approval from the Department in the form of a statement of authorization before operating any Third and/or Fourth Freedom charter flights to or from the US”.
The Aviation Ministry said that these are all destinations where demand for travel has not diminished and the final decisions pursuant to negotiations are expected to be taken soon.
The Civil Aviation Ministry said that as it moves from controlled and managed aviation evacuation of the citizens in different parts of the world and foreign nationals from India, it is now looking at the possibility of establishing bilateral arrangements.
“We have received requests from authorities in several countries including the US, France, Germany among others requesting that their air carriers be allowed to participate in the transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under Vande Bharat Mission. These requests are being examined,” the Ministry added.
(With Inputs from PTI)