FAQ| Latest Country-Wise Quarantine Guidelines, SOPs for International Flights Under Air Bubble

News18
·16-min read

Government of India has established air bubble agreement with 19 countries to felicitate easy travelling of international passengers. “Transport Bubbles” or “Air Travel Arrangements” are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services as the scheduled international flights are suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under air bubble agreement, flights from both sides can fly in and out of both the countries and hence, there are detailed protocols and SOPs laid out. Here are the details of such arrangements:

[q]Afghanistan[/q]

[ans]India has established an air transport bubble with Afghanistan. Indian carriers and Ariana Afghan Airlines are now permitted to operate services between India and Afghanistan and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Afghanistan

i. Afghanistan nationals/residents and foreign nationals holding valid Afghanistan visas, if required; and

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from Afghanistan and destined for Afghanistan only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Afghanistan with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Afghanistan to India

i. Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Afghanistan passports; and

iii. Foreigners (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Bahrain[/q]

[ans]India has created an air travel arrangement with Bahrain. Air India/Air India Express and Gulf Air are now permitted to operate services between India and Bahrain and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Bahrain

i. Bahraini nationals/residents;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from the Kingdom of Bahrain and destined for Bahrain only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Bahrain with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Bahrain to India

i. Indian nationals stranded in Bahrain;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Bahraini passports; and

iii. Bahraini nationals (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Bangladesh[/q]

[ans]India has created an air travel arrangement with Bangladesh w.e.f 28th October 2020. This arrangement is valid till 31st January 2021. Indian and Bangladeshi carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Bangladesh and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Bangladesh

i. Nationals/residents of Bangladesh and foreign nationals holding valid visa from Bangladesh;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from Bangladesh. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Bangladesh before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Bangladesh to India

i. Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by Bangladesh; and

iii. Bangladeshi nationals/residents (including diplomats) and foreigners (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Bhutan[/q]

[ans]India has created an air travel arrangement with Bhutan. Indian and Bhutanese carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Bhutan and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Bhutan

i. Nationals/residents of Bhutan and foreign nationals holding valid visa from Bhutan, if required;

ii. Any Indian national. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Bhutan with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Bhutan to India

i. Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports of Bhutan; and

iii. Bhutanese nationals/residents (including diplomats) and foreigners (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020, as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Canada[/q]

[ans]India has created an air travel arrangement with Canada. Indian carriers and Air Canada are now permitted to operate services between India and Canada and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Canada

i. Stranded Canadian nationals/residents and foreigners with valid Canadian visa eligible to enter Canada;

ii. Indian nationals with valid visas eligible to enter Canada. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Canada before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger; and

iii. Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping

B. From Canada to India

i. Stranded Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Canadian passports; and

iii. Foreigners (including diplomats), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]France[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with France. Indian and French carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and France and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to France

i. Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per MHA guidelines dated 01.07.2020 and destined for EU;

ii. Stranded EU nationals/residents, foreign nationals destined for Europe and transiting through France or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise; and

iii. Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.

B. From France to India

i. Stranded Indian nationals;

ii. Foreigners (including diplomats and OCI card holders), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Germany[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with Germany. Indian and German carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Germany and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Germany

i. Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per MHA guidelines dated 01.07.2020 and destined for EU;

ii. Stranded EU nationals/residents, foreign nationals destined for Europe and transiting through Germany or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise; and

iii. Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.

B. From Germany to India

i. Stranded Indian nationals;

ii. Foreigners (including diplomats and OCI card holders), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Iraq[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with Iraq. Indian and Iraqi carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Iraq and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Iraq

i. Nationals/residents of Iraq;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from Iraq and destined for Iraq only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Iraq with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Iraq to India

i. Indian nationals stranded in Iraq;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports of Iraq; and

iii. Nationals of Iraq (including diplomats), holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Japan[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble with Japan. Indian and Japanese carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Japan and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Japan

i. Stranded nationals/residents of Japan and foreign nationals holding valid Japanese visas subject to the border measures and travel restrictions imposed by the government of Japan at the time of travel; and

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from Japan subject to the border measures and travel restrictions imposed by the government of Japan at the time of travel. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Japan with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Japan to India

i. Stranded Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports of Japan; and

iii. Foreigners (including diplomats), holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Kenya[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble with Kenya. Indian and Kenyan carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Kenya and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Kenya

i. Nationals/residents of any country in Africa; and

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa from Kenya and destined for any country in Africa. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the destination country with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Kenya to India

i. Indian nationals stranded in any country in Africa;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports of Kenya;

iii. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by any country in Africa who are eligible to enter India as per MHA guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time; and

iv. Nationals of Africa (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Maldives[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with Maldives. Indian and Maldivian carriers are now permitted to operate flights between India and Maldives and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Maldives:

i. Maldivian nationals/residents and foreign nationals holding valid Maldivian visas, if required;

ii. Any Indian national. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Maldives before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Maldives to India:

i. Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Maldivian passports, and

iii. Foreigners (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Nigeria[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with Nigeria. Indian and Nigerian carriers are now permitted to operate flights between India and Nigeria and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Nigeria:

i. Stranded Nigerian nationals/residents, foreign nationals destined for Africa and transiting through Nigeria or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid Nigerian visa and destined for any country in Africa. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the destination country before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger; and

iii. Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.

B. From Nigeria to India:

i. Indian nationals stranded in any country in Africa;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Nigerian passports;

iii. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by any country in Africa who are eligible to enter India as per MHA guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time; and

iv. Foreigners (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Oman[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with Oman. Indian and Omani carriers are now permitted to operate flights between India and Oman and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Oman:

i. Nationals/residents of Oman;

ii. Any Indian national holding valid residency permit of Oman and destined for Oman only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure the Indian nationals are eligible to enter Oman before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Oman to India:

i. Indian nationals stranded in Oman;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports of Oman;

iii. Nationals of Oman (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Qatar[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with the State of Qatar. This bubble is valid till 31.10.2020. Indian carriers and Qatar Airways are now permitted to operate flights between India and Qatar and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Qatar:

i. Qatari nationals;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid Qatar visa and destined for Qatar only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Qatar with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Qatar to India:

i. Indian nationals stranded in Qatar;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Qatari passports, and

iii. Qatari nationals (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]Ukraine[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with Ukraine. This bubble is valid till 30.11.2020 . Indian and Ukrainian carriers are now permitted to operate flights between India and Ukraine and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to Ukraine:

i. Nationals/residents of CIS countries (excluding Russia);

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa of Ukraine including diplomatic and official passport holders and destined for CIS countries (excluding Russia). It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the country concerned with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From Ukraine to India:

i. Indian nationals in CIS countries (excluding Russia);

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by Ukraine;

iii. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by any country of CIS (excluding Russia and Ukraine) who are eligible to enter India as per MHA guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time; and

iv. Nationals of CIS countries excluding Russia (but including diplomatic and service/official passport holders) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]United Arab Emirates (UAE)[/q]

[ans]India has created an air bubble arrangement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This bubble is valid till 31.10.2020. Indian and UAE carriers are now permitted to operate flights between India and UAE and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to UAE:

i. UAE nationals.

ii. ICA approved UAE residents destined for UAE only.

iii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid UAE visa and destined for UAE only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter UAE with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

B. From UAE to India:

i. Indian nationals stranded in UAE only;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding UAE passports; and

iii. UAE nationals (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]United Kingdom (UK)[/q]

[ans]India has created an air travel arrangement with the United Kingdom. Indian and UK carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and UK and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to UK

i. Stranded UK nationals/residents, foreign nationals transiting through UK or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid UK visa and destined for UK only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter UK with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger; and

iii. Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping

B. From UK to India

i. Stranded Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding UK passports; and

iii. Foreigners (including diplomats), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

[q]United States of America (USA)[/q]

[ans]India has created an air travel arrangement with the United States of America. Indian and US carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and USA and carry the following categories of persons on such flights:

A. From India to USA

i. US citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals holding valid US visas;

ii. Any Indian national holding any type of valid US visa. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter USA with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger; and

iii. Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping

B. From USA to India

i. Stranded Indian nationals;

ii. All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding US passports; and

iii. Foreigners (including diplomats), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.[/ans]

*Before making any reservations in the flights being operated under the above arrangements, the passengers must confirm that they would be allowed entry into the destination country.

*Data sourced from Ministry of Civil Aviation