Bhutan and Kenya become the latest additions in the list of countries having air bubbles with India. Here’s how you can travel between the said nations from now on. By Tanvi Jain

 

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India has now established air bubbles with Kenya and Bhutan as well, along with 13 other countries, i.e., United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Kenya, Bhutan, Iraq, Canada, Maldives, Japan, Qatar, Nigeria and UAE. 

“Reaching out to stranded Indians. In order to further boost bilateral international air connectivity, Air Bubble arrangements are now in place with Kenya & Bhutan. Indian carriers will be able to operate to these countries. Carriers of these countries will be able to fly to India,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet. 

 

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Who all can travel between India and Bhutan? 

  1. Any Bhutan national or resident of any foreign national holding Bhutanese visa can travel from India to Bhutan.
  2. Any Indian national holding the required visa can travel from India to Bhutan
  3. Indian nationals and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders can travel from Bhutan to India.
  4. Bhutanese nationals, residents or foreign nationals holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under the Home Ministry guidelines dated June 30, 2020, as amended from time to time, can also travel from Bhutan to India. 

Earlier, Puri had also mentioned that apart from Bhutan, similar air bubbles have been proposed to countries like Bangladesh, Sri LankaNepal and Afghanistan as well.

 

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Meanwhile, these newly created air bubbles with Bhutan and Kenya, have been announced a day after Lufthansa cancelled all flights from India between September 30 and October 20. 

“India formalised an air bubble with Germany in July 2020. An air bubble arrangement allows nationals of both countries to travel in either direction. However, there are restrictions in place for Indian nationals desiring to travel to Germany which was putting Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage resulting in inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa. As against Indian carriers operating 3-4 flights a week, Lufthansa operated 20 flights a week. In spite of this disparity, we offered to clear 7 flights a week for Lufthansa which was not accepted by them. Negotiations continue,” Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) tweeted. 

P.S – For now, we are awaiting more information on travelling to and from Kenya.

Related: What Does India’s Newly Created Air Bubbles Actually Mean For Regular Travellers?