India is considering establishing “individual bilateral bubbles” with the US, the UK, Germany and France allowing airlines of each country in the pact to operate international passenger flights, said the Aviation Ministry on Tuesday. The ministry’s statement has come after the US Department of Transportation announced on Monday that it has barred Air India from operating chartered flights between India and the United States from July 22 without its prior approval, in an apparent retaliation for the Indian government not allowing American carriers to operate between the two countries.
The Aviation Ministry said, “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.”
“We have received requests from 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,” it added.