New Delhi: Part of Central government’s Vande Bharat Mission, India is establishing bilateral air bubble arrangements with 13 countries. Making the announcement on Twitter, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that the negotiation is being established with Australia, Japan and Singapore for international flight operations.
“We continue to further strengthen the reach and scope of VBM. Air Travel arrangements are already in place with USA, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar & Maldives. We are now taking these efforts forward and are negotiating with 13 more countries to establish such arrangements,” Puri said in a series of tweets.
Under a bilateral air bubble pact, airlines of both the countries can operate international flights with certain restrictions.
The aviation minister further added that the air bubbles have also been proposed with the neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan.
The aviation minister said the 13 countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand. “The ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians and nationals of these countries,” he added.
Notably, the phase 5 of the VBM, which started on August 1, is ending on August 31 and the phase 6 starts from September 1 till October 24.
“Going forward, we will consider such arrangements with other countries also. It is always our endeavour to reach out to every stranded citizen. No Indian will be left behind,” he added.