Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a press briefing today said international flights may resume under bilateral air bubbles with other countries with certain conditions as many are imposing entry restrictions even now, including India in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic.

"Till international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, I think answer will lie through bilateral air bubbles, which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions including India," Puri said.

The aviation minister also hinted at resumption of international flights with at least three more countries amid this bilateral situation.

"We are at a propelled stage between with three nations and it is a work-in-progress. For instance, Air France will be working 28 trips between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris from 18 July to 1 August while US will be flying 18 trips between July 17-31, yet this is a break one. We have demand from German bearers to allow trips to India and we are preparing it," Puri said. 

A movement bubble or a respective air bubble is a movement passageway between two nations that desire to revive their outskirts and restore associations with one another. This is an elite organization considered between nations that have either to a great extent wiped out the infection, or trust the testing numbers. 

Prior, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the universal traveler flight administrations in the nation will continue in a staged way during 'Open 2.0'.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) earlier mentioned "international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes on a case-to-case basis."

On the other hand, India's Vande Bharat Mission has evacuated more than 6,80,000 Indians stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic till Wednesday, Puri said today. "A total of 6,87,467 passengers have been evacuated under the mission till 15 July, 23:59 hours," he said.

As on 13 July, Air India and Air India Express operated 1,103 flights, bringing back 2,08,000 Indians under the mission. "On many of these flights, we ferried back 85,289 passengers to various countries across the world," said Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal.

He said that over 80,000 people have also flown out of the country since the outbreak of the pandemic. This is the fourth phase of the mission. The first phase of the mission commenced on 7 May.

Moreover, on Tuesday, a total of 68,804 passengers travelled in domestic flights till 23:59 hours. There were a total of 1,633 flight movements in the country. Footfalls at airports was 1,36,099 and total number of flyers were 68,804. There have been 816 departures and 817 arrivals.

Puri also said, there might be a short extension on the airfare cap on domestic flights beyond 24 August due to muted demand.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended in India on March 25 after the Central government imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19. Domestic flights in the country resumed operations from May 25.
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