The first flight from India under the so-called air bubble arrangement will take off from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) at 1.15 am on Wednesday for Washington. The same day, a flight from Washington will also be the first one to land at the IGIA under the newly announced bilateral arrangement.
Last Thursday, union civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri had announced that Air France and United Airlines of the US will operate a limited number of international flights under so-called “air bubble” arrangements with India.
The bilateral air bubble refers to a travel corridor between two countries that wish to reopen their borders and re-establish connections with each other.
Also read: France, US establish ‘air bubbles’ for flights to India
The bilateral air bubble refers to a travel corridor between two countries that wish to reopen their borders and re-establish connections with each other. Under the new arrangement, while Air France will operate 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris from July 22 till August 1; United Airlines will operate 18 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Newark and San Francisco from July 22 until July 31.
Since Indian air space was closed in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease pandemic, only repatriation or rescue flights for Indians stranded overseas have operated from India to international destinations Some foreign airlines operated similar flights to India.
“Flights under the air bubbles initiative will be first of its kind which anyone willing to fly to destinations covered under the agreement can avail as per the laid-down procedures,” a civil aviation ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Also read | Air bubbles only way forward for international travel during pandemic: Hardeep Puri
International flights to and from India have been suspended since March 23 as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic spread across the world. Limited domestic flights have since resumed.