International flights to India from US, France resume operation

Sruthi Vibhavari

New Delhi: After about four months of suspension, India will resume the operation of international flights between the US and France, the Civil Aviation Minister Harshdeep Puri said. The Ministry is also working on finalizing similar agreements between Germany, UAE, and the UK, he said in a press conference on Thursday (July 16).

The Minister said that the government inked bilateral air bubble agreements with the US and France to operate international flights. An air bubble is a bilateral agreement comprising a set of regulations and restrictions the airlines of the two countries have to abide by to operate international flights.

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According to the agreement, Air France will operate 28 flights between New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Paris from July 18 to August 1. Air India also plans to operate daily flights for the rest of the month, but the details regarding this plan are awaited.

As for the USA, United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to 31. This includes a daily flight between New Delhi to Newark (New Jersey) and thrice-weekly services between New Delhi and San Francisco. Delta might also fly 18 flights between the US and India, however, there is no official confirmation.

Puri also mentioned about establishing a bubble with the UK soon under which there would be two flights per day between Delhi and London.

“Air India is continuing to fly evacuation flights internationally under the Vande Bharat Mission. The next-phase begins on July 22 and flights from the USA, Europe, and Sharjah will be flown to different parts of the country. Commercial services have not yet resumed,” said Puja Kaushik, Corporate Communications Manager of Air India.

Apart from the flights working for repatriation under the Vande Bharat Mission, India suspended all other scheduled international flights from March 23. The operation of domestic flights was resumed on May 25.

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