India`s First Air Bubble Agreement In South Asia

In early October, before the start of the Dashain festival, Nepal had decided to join India`s “air bubble” program to bring hundreds of Stranded Nepalis to different parts of India. The two ministers acknowledged that since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office on 17 November 2018, relations have been considerably revived and have seen a new dynamic. They agreed that frequent exchanges at the highest level, ministerial visits and a record number of agreements have led to increased cooperation between the two countries in order to benefit both peoples. Although India continues to restrict international flights, it allows flights through “air bubbles” or “travel corridors,” a system between two countries that perceive themselves as safe and allow airlines in both countries to fly their citizens in both directions, without restricting the number of passengers. The governments of the Maldives and India have agreed to create an air bubble between countries. This is the first air bubble founded in South Asia Also called travel corridors or air bridges, travel bubbles allow tourists to travel between two countries, without the need to quarantine. Several sources within the ministry confirmed that the Covid-19 crisis management centre would present the proposal at the next cabinet meeting on Thursday so that the ministry could sign the agreement. Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said India was studying “the possibility of a settlement of air bubbles with Nepal.” During the conference, Minister Shahid thanked the Indian government for making the Maldives one of the first countries with which India built an air bubble. He stressed the importance of easing travel, especially for the Maldives, which wish to visit India for essential medical treatments, as well as for Indian tourists wishing to visit the Maldives. In July, India first built travel bubbles with the United States, Germany and France.

Since then, India has entered into agreements with 10 other nations – Britain, Canada, maldives, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan. With some European countries reporting a second wave of infection, air bubbles allowing citizens to travel freely between certain nations under a reciprocal agreement appear to be the “new normal”, even if demand for international air travel remains low. The EU`s civil aviation minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, said India was negotiating air bubble agreements with 13 other countries. It was first proposed by Indian Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in mid-August. Airlift agreements between countries, particularly those with low coronaviruses, allow travel on both trains without restrictions. The two ministers applauded the travel bubble as the “first in South Asia,” with the Maldy Foreign Minister thanking the Indian government for “the fact that the Maldives is among the first countries with which India has built an air bubble.” Although India has extended its embargo on international flights until 30 September, “air bubbles” or “air bridges” are the only means by which international commercial air traffic has resumed since mid-July. Since then, India`s number of air bubbles has risen to 13, with Japan the last country to be on the list. Air bubbles are an arrangement that occurred in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, which affects global air transport.

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