International travel amid Covid-19: India-Australia signs air bubble agreement

The Indian government has signed an agreement with Australia to create an air bubble that would allow all eligible passengers to travel between the two countries.

During a pandemic, a bilateral air bubble is a technique for resuming flights between two countries with preconditions.

According to a recent announcement by civil aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, scheduled international flight operations will remain suspended at least until 31 January 2022. (DGCA).

Dedicated freight flights and flights under bilateral air bubble pacts with specific countries, on the other hand, continue to operate.

Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, Seychelles, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, UAE, UK, and USA, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan are among the 33 countries with which India has bilateral air bubble agreements.

Qantas, an Australian airline, just began flying between Sydney and New Delhi. Before Christmas, the airline plans to begin flights between New Delhi and Melbourne.

Prior to the Indian government suspending scheduled international flights, Air India operated direct commercial flights linking New Delhi with Melbourne and Sydney.

Flights between India and Australia will resume in the coming days, according to a top airline official.

“Australia is a key market for the airline, and we anticipate strong demand,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

India’s foreign flight operations were halted on March 23, 2020. This was extended every month until November 30th, when the administration announced plans to resume scheduled international flight services on November 26th.

Following the appearance of the Omicron coronavirus mutant, the Indian government said on 1 December that it had cancelled preparations to restart scheduled international aircraft operations on 15 December, five days after making the statement.

After scientists discovered a more virulent and likely vaccine-resistant form of the covid-19 virus in South Africa, major economies around the world rushed to take preventative precautions.

The UK has temporarily prohibited flights from six southern African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, citing the ‘Omicron’ variety as the most important one yet discovered.

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