India is likely to allow carriers from select European countries and the United States to launch flight connectivity in and out of India on the lines of Vande Bharat Mission. This will allow carriers to bring in Indian passengers and also fly out from India with passengers, thus, providing more options to stranded Indians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we contemplate further opening up in response to demands, we are looking at the prospect of establishing individual bilateral bubbles, India-US, India-France, India-Germany, India-UK. These are all destinations where demand for travel has not diminished. Final decisions pursuant to negotiations are expected to be taken soon,” India’s aviation ministry said.

Meanwhile; India has received a request from many countries to allow them to start flight to and from India along the line of Vande Bharat mission flights. “We have received requests from concerned authorities in several countries including the US, France, Germany among others requesting that their air carriers be allowed to participate in the transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under Vande Bharat Mission. These requests are being examined,” a statement read.

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Recently the US had accused the Government of India of being involved in ‘discriminatory and restrictive practices’ by violating a treaty governing aviation between the two countries, the US government on Monday restricted charter flights for Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission.

“We have also had one round of negotiations with the US on June 15 with representatives of the US Department of Transportation and US Embassy on this issue,” Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said in a statement.

India had started Vande Bharat mission for the evacuation of Indian citizens from all over the world, and the outbound flights are now also increasingly carrying Indians and citizens of other countries to the destinations where they are normal residents.

A request for resumption of scheduled flights from the Gulf countries is also pending with the MoCA.

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