Centre in Talks with Kuwait on Air Bubble after Hong Kong Restricts Indian FlightsJuly 30, 2020 18:59
(Image source from: firstpost.com)
Hong Kong is not allowing flights from India and some other countries as per its COVID-19 strategy. India is now approaching Kuwait for the Air Bubble travel agreement.
Earlier in July, India has made bilateral air bubbles with France, Germany, the US and UAE. Under this bilateral air bubble agreement, the two countries will allow to operate special chartered flights to and from them amid certain restrictions in both the countries.
Reportedly, Centre is now in discussions with Kuwait government to form an air bubble between the two countries. The air lines from both the countries will be allowed to operate with special flights till the coronavirus crisis comes to a still.
Hong kong has been following its COVID-19 restrictions very stringently as the number of coronavirus cases are rising. As per their pandemic tackling strategy, they are not allowing flights from countries that are highly affected by COVID-19.
Many scheduled International flights remain suspended in India from March 23, since the nationwide lockdown has been imposed.
The civil aviation ministry has said that the secretary of the ministry and the Kuwait’s directorate General of civil aviation had held useful and productive discussions on several issues related to the bilateral access between the two countries.
Indian government also said that significant progress has been made on aviation access between India and Kuwait. India is hopeful that an air bubble would be established between Kuwait and India soon.
International flights have been operational under Vande Bharat mission since May 6 to help the stranded Indians in different countries to bring back them to India.
Private flights have also operated a number of flights under this mission.
The aviation sectors across the world have been highly impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. All air lines in India have been taking cost cutting measures such as pay cuts, leaves without pay and fired many employees to conserve some cash in the wake of the pandemic.
However, India has resumed domestic flights operation from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. These domestic flights have been allowed to operate with 45% of the passenger capacity to follow social distancing measures and also followed effective sanitization measures.
However, the occupancy percentage in these Indian domestic flights has been around 50 to 60 percent since May 25.
Meanwhile, Indian government has announced guidelines for Unlock 3.0 as Unlock 2.0 is scheduled to end on July 31. Gyms and Yoga institutes have been given access to open their services from August 5. However, metro rails and schools and colleges will remain closed throughout the country.
By Gayatri Yellayi