Indian Embassy in Tokyo informed that India & Japan are now part of Air Bubble wherein registration of passengers with Indian Embassy will no longer be required
Indian Embassy in Tokyo, on October 20, informed that India and Japan are now part of Air Bubble system wherein registration of passengers with the Indian Embassy will no longer be required. Till now, India had formed such arrangements with 16 countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Ukraine, the Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, the UK and the USA.
Under the air bubble pact, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines into each other’s territories under restrictive conditions due to the unprecedented coronavirus.
According to an official statement, “Air India has announced its Air-Bubble schedule from Delhi to Tokyo with effect from November 2 to December 28, and from Tokyo to Delhi with effect from November 4 to December 30”.
A bilateral air bubble is when specific countries mutually decide to open the travel corridor between them, based on understanding and partnership. Given the current COVID-19 situation, a bilateral air bubble is signed between two nations who agree to allow inbound and outbound flights between their countries.
This sort of agreement helps the host country acknowledge that they are well aware of the pandemic situation of the other country, and would still want to go forward and allow their passengers to travel to their nation. This mutual understanding is important to ease air travel restrictions for incoming passengers, who have to follow a select protocol keeping in mind the pandemic situation of the host country.
Phase 7 of Vande Bharat Mission
Earlier this month, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said that Phase 7 of the Vande Bharat Mission includes flights from among the 16 countries with which India has a bilateral ‘air bubble’ arrangement in place. He added that the air bubble agreement has been working satisfactorily. Further, Srivastava also said that the flights in phase 7 include Air India and Air India Express flights, private and foreign carriers, chartered flights, naval ships and land border crossings.
At an online media briefing, he said, “We continue to assess demand for repatriation from other countries and project the requirements to Air India so that more flights can be scheduled in the coming days”.