India Establishes Air Bubble Agreement With Australia
As a relief to those who are stuck in India and Australia due to the travel ban induced by Covid-19 between these countries, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) Govt of India has established an Air Bubble Agreement with Australia taking the total number of air bubble arrangements to 33 countries.
Air bubbles, also known as travel bridges or green corridors, remove the waiting period for travelers from certain countries, by allowing the countries to operate their respective carriers.
International flights have been banned by the country since March 22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under this air bubble agreement, both Indian and Australian carriers can operate passenger flights between India and Australia.
As per the air bubble agreement signed between India and Australia, airlines of both countries may carry the following passengers on their flights being operated under this arrangement.
Inbound Flights Into India
- Indian nationals or nationals of Nepal or Bhutan in Australia and New Zealand;
- All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and PIO cardholders holding passports of any country; and
- All foreign nationals holding a valid Indian visa as per extant guidelines.
Outbound Flights From India
- Nationals/residents of Australia, and foreign nationals with valid visa who are eligible to enter Australia/New Zealand;
- Any Indian national or national of Nepal or Bhutan destined for Australia/ New Zealand and holding a valid visa of the destination country.
- It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese nationals to enter the destination country before issue of ticket/boarding pass to the Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese passenger; and
- Seamen of foreign nationalities and Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.
Recently, Qantas had launched commercial flight services to India after nearly ten years and operated first flights from Sydney to Delhi.
The flight from Sydney to Delhi has operated via Adelaide, while the return flights from Delhi to Sydney have operated as nonstop flights.
Apart from the Sydney-Delhi-Sydney route, Qantas has also planning to start the brand-new international route from Melbourne to Delhi starting from 22 December 2021, connecting Victoria to the Indian capital on a Qantas-operated flight for the first time in the airline’s history.
The new Melbourne-Delhi flight will operate four times a week, year-round. Same-day connections will also be available from Brisbane, Sydney, and Canberra.
Flights from Melbourne to Delhi will initially operate via Adelaide, while flights from Delhi to Melbourne will operate nonstop.