As the Covid restrictions are getting eased down around the world by many countries, the flight frequency between the nations is increasing as the people are being allowed to travel to other countries.
In a recent update, the government has announced India and the neighbouring nation Bangladesh has mutually decided to increase the frequency of flights under the Air bubble arrangement from 7 to 21 per week per country. The move is set to come to effect from October 15. The move comes in the wake of benefitting passengers traveling for medical and business purposes.
Flights between India and Bangladesh under the bilateral air bubble pact resumed in September after four months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With scheduled international passenger flights to and from India remaining suspended since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Delhi has entered into air bubble arrangements with various countries, including Bangladesh, for operating flights.
The pact with Bangladesh, which came into effect on October 28, 2020, was valid till March 27, 2021, wherein Indian and Bangladeshi carriers were permitted to operate services between the two nations.
India has an air bubble agreement with 28 countries, which include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and the United States. Under an air bubble pact, between two nations, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.
In the recent development, the UK has eased travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Indians who have received a UK-approved jab. Starting October 11, they will not have to self-isolate or take a COVID test when they arrive in the UK.
The move is a relief to thousands of Indians who travel to the UK for work, studies, and leisure. The change in guidelines came days after Delhi imposed reciprocal measures on British nationals in retaliation for UK travel curbs on Indian citizens.
About 26% of India's eligible population has been fully vaccinated and nearly 70% have received at least one dose. Covishield, locally produced by the Serum Institute of India, has been the main vaccine, with some 819 million doses given so far.
Notably, India administered nearly 95 crore Covid vaccination doses until October 10 according to the data produced by the Union Ministry of Health.
(with inputs from sources)