Singapore, Jan 28 (PTI) Singapore and India are in talks about resuming scheduled commercial passenger flights gradually between the two countries, a top aviation authority official said on Thursday.
However, Singapore is not discussing an air travel bubble arrangement with India, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) transport director Daniel Ng said.
Air travel bubbles give travellers special exemption from quarantine rules. The resumption of commercial flights would not automatically come with such exemptions, unless agreed upon by countries.
'There is interest from both countries to explore resuming international scheduled commercial passenger flights between Singapore and India gradually. Discussions are ongoing,' Daniel was quoted as saying by Channel News Asia.
However, travellers will be subject to travel restrictions and measures such as COVID-19 testing and stay-home notices, he said.
Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, P Kumaran, said there is a fair amount of interest on both sides to 'resume the excellent connectivity, which we have enjoyed over the years'.
There is a proposal to gradually restore air connectivity between the two countries. We plan to start with limited restoration of connectivity, which will be gradually ramped up as the situation improves. But travel under this arrangement will involve all health safeguards such as pre-departure testing and quarantine, he said.
India is currently operating a limited number of flights to repatriate Indians under the Vande Bharat Mission, as it is being done so in bringing home Indian nationals working overseas but facing travel restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic.
There are about 18 flights a week to various part of India from Singapore.
India has already repatriated over 50,000 citizens from Singapore, but there are still over 10,000 registered Indians who need to get home for various reasons such as loss of jobs, medical and family matters, officials said. PTI GS SCY