International flights: Air bubbles with 13 countries finalised


In the ongoing process of gradually resuming international flights, the civil aviation ministry has added more destinations to the list of countries where Indians can fly. Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier announced that talks were on with 13 countries to set up air bubbles, which has now been finalised, the minister tweeted.

List of countries:

  1. US
  2. UK
  3. Canada
  4. Qatar
  5. France
  6. Germany
  7. Afghanistan
  8. UAE
  9. Maldives
  10. Iraq
  11. Nigeria
  12. Bahrain
  13. Japan

Air bubbles are bilateral agreements through which a specific number of airlines, from both the countries, can fly. However, the agreement doesn’t permit an airline to fly passengers from somewhere else before or after the journey between the two countries, which have signed the agreement.

After all countries put an embargo on international flights for months to stop ‘importing’ Covid-19 cases, air bubbles are the only through which international travel has resumed since August. Countries were only allowing repatriating flights during lockdowns.

India entered into air bubbles with the US, the UK, Germany and France earlier. The rest of the countries have been added recently. More destinations will be added soon, the minister has said.

While repatriating flights are one way and the passengers have to register themselves with the embassy to board such flights, air bubble flights are both ways. Passengers can book tickets directly from the airlines.