In another travel-related development, direct Air India flights between Goa and London commenced on Sunday, October 18. The flights which are scheduled to take off from Goa International Airport, are currently operating on a weekly basis. However, as per the new Air Bubble agreement between India and the United Kingdom, the frequency of the flight would be extended to twice a week starting November 1.
Important day for Goa Intn'l Airport. Today Air India starts its direct flight LHR-GOI-LHR, B787.Initially once a week then twice a week from November under Air Bubble. Goa connects to London directly now. @HardeepSPuri @airindiain @MoCA_GoI @AAI_Official @TourismGoa @aairedwr pic.twitter.com/8iFS8tG4kG— Goa Airport (@aaigoaairport) October 18, 2020
Earlier last week, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri announced that an air bubble arrangement has been made for flights between India and Ukraine under the Vande Bharat Mission. The special flights are to ensure safe travel between the countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to reports, to date, India has formed such arrangements with 16 countries - Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Bhutan, United Kingdom and United States.
A bilateral air bubble is when specific countries mutually decide to open the travel corridor between them, based on understanding and partnership. Given the current COVID-19 situation, a bilateral air bubble is signed between two nations who agree to allow inbound and outbound flights between their countries.
This sort of agreement helps the host country acknowledge that they are well aware of the pandemic situation of the other country, and would still want to go forward and allow their passengers to travel to their nation. This mutual understanding is important to ease air travel restrictions for incoming passengers, who have to follow a select protocol keeping in mind the pandemic situation of the host country.
Image Credits: PTI