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Unlock 4.0 | All You Need to Know About International Flights, Air Bubbles & More | FAQ

·2-min read

The ban on international commercial passenger flights to and from India has been extended till September 30.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the Government of India has released the guidelines for the Unlock 4.0, applicable from September 1 till September 30. Under the guidelines, government has decided to open up transport further by allowing Metro Trains to run from September 7.

International flights, however, will continue to operate like before in a calibrated manner under the Under Bubble Pact with various countries and also Vande Bharat Mission.

Ministry of Civil Aviation banned international flights from March 23 and has been conducting one-of-its-kind repatriation drive to brink back stranded nationals from various countries under the Mission Vande Bharat as air travel across the globe, especially for international flights remains suspended.

However, last month, MoCA announced that it has established bilateral air bubbles with countries including the US, France, and Germany. Establishment of similar air corridors between India and countries including Canada, UK, other European and Gulf countries has also been completed.

Passengers who wish to travel to the aforementioned countries can refer to the quick guide below to familiarise with the regulations.

What is an air bubble?

An air bubble is essentially a temporary arrangement between two countries to restart commercial flight services at a time when regular international flights are suspended due to COVID-19. Under the arrangement, airlines from both countries are allowed to operate, unlike Mission Vande Bharat where only Indian air carriers were allowed to operate flights.

Which International Airlines are Flying Right Now?

Under the new arrangements, airlines including Air India, United Airlines, Air France and Lufthansa among other air carriers will operate to and from from their respective countries.

Is Tourist Visa Applicable for Flights Under the Air Corridor?

Yes, certain countries like Dubai have allowed tourists to fly into country with certain restrictions. However, majority of flights are still bring out stranded Indian citizens, OCI card holders & diplomats. If the country has not allowed tourist visa, Indian nationals cannot fly to these countries.

Who Can Fly to the US from India?

Passengers who wish to travel to US-bound international flight from India must either be US citizens, diplomats, permanent residents, OCI cardholders, or Indian nationals with US visa of at least one-month validity.

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It is to be noted that the special arrangements have been aimed to repatriate stranded Indians, foreigners, green card holders, permanent legal residents, and those on employment and education visas with a minimum of one month's validity.

It is advisable to check the restrictions in your destination country before booking the tickets.