India announces proposal to create travel bubble with countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. By Tanvi Jain

 

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As India prepares to fly internationally again, the Civil Aviation Ministry hints at destinations the country has proposed to form a travel bubble with, which so far include the US, UK, France and Germany.  

“As we contemplate further opening up in response to demands, we are looking at the prospect of establishing individual bilateral bubbles, India-US, India-France, India-Germany, India-UK. These are all destinations where demand for travel has not diminished. Final decisions pursuant to negotiations are expected to be taken soon,” MoCA_GoI said in a tweet. 

The announcement came after the United States accused India’s national carrier Air India of unfair practices and discrimination, for restricting US air carriers from utilising full charter rights between the two countries. 

 

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“The Department is taking this action because the Government of India is engaging in unfair and discriminatory practices with respect to charter air transportation services to and from India. This order will allow the Department to scrutinise charter flights by Indian carriers on a case-by-case basis. The Department seeks to restore a level playing field for US airlines, as provided for in the US-India Air Transport Agreement. The Department is willing to reconsider this action once all applicable restrictions on US carrier rights cease to be applied to US carriers, and a level playing field has been restored,” US Department of Transportation (DOT) released the statement earlier this week. 

 

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Moreover, as India is about to enter the second phase of the ongoing Unlock from June 30, more domestic and international flights are scheduled to resume operations. While Air India has already confirmed more domestic flights, the Government’s ongoing Vande Bharat Mission has continuously been operating international flights to bring back Indians stranded abroad. 

Reports suggest that New Zealand and Australia are likely to be the first to lead the proposed bubbles, which countries across the globe are gradually trying to form. Later it could further be expanded to countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and smaller COVID-19 safe destinations like Fiji.

Related: International Flights May Resume Operations Before August, Hints India’s Aviation Minister