India’s air transport bubble arrangement with Germany will recommence with Lufthansa operating from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, while Air India will fly to Frankfurt from Delhi and Bengaluru.
The air transport bubble arrangement with Germany had been suspended between September 30 and October 21 after the European country prohibited national carrier Air India from flying to its airports. The ban saw India asking Lufthansa to curtail its schedule, which led to the airline cancelling its flights to India till October 20.
The disagreement between the two sides was primarily due to the fewer number of flights allowed to Air India (3-4 weekly) as compared to those allowed to Lufthansa (20 weekly).
In a Tweet, Union Minister of Civil Aviation (Independent Charge), said: “Flights between India and Germany recommence under air bubble arrangement. Lufthansa will operate from Delhi (4 days), Mumbai (3 days) & Bengaluru (3 days). Air India will operate 5 weekly flights from Delhi and 2 every week from Bengaluru to Frankfurt.”
Flights between India & Germany recommence under air bubble arrangement. Lufthansa will operate from Delhi (4 days), Mumbai (3 days) & Bengaluru (3 days). @airindiain will operate 5 weekly flights from Delhi & 2 every week from Bengaluru to Frankfurt.@MoCA_GoI
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 21, 2020
Earlier an Air India spokesperson had said that all its flights to and from Frankfurt had to be cancelled due to withdrawal of permission by the German authorities. The national carrier had 10 flights on the Delhi-Frankfurt sector and two between Delhi and Bengaluru which had been put on hold till October 14, an airline spokesperson had said.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had announced the inclusion of Bangladesh in the air bubble agreement. Carriers of the two countries will operate 28 flights (per week) each between the two countries. With the inclusion of Bangladesh, the number of such arrangements has now reached 18.
On Tuesday, India and Japan had signed a similar agreement. Under the system, those travelling between India and Japan will no longer require registration of passengers with the Indian Embassy.
India has such arrangements with Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Ukraine, the Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, the UK and the USA.
Under the air bubble pact, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines into each other’s territories under restrictive conditions due to the unprecedented coronavirus.