Oman becomes the 16th country to establish air bubble pact with India

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Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Sigh Puri said on Wednesday that India has fixed a bilateral air bubble arrangement with Oman for running special international passenger flights between the two countries. Oman became the 16th country to form such a pact. The 15 other countries include France, Bahrain, Canada, UK, USA, UAE, Qatar, Afghanistan, Iraq, Maldives, Bhutan, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, and Kenya. 
Hardeep Puri posted on Twitter, “Happy to announce that bilateral air bubble arrangement is now in place for flights between India & Oman, taking the number of such arrangements to 16.” He further added that carriers of Oman and India will run between the 2 countries.
 Under the air bubble arrangement, the two countries can operate special international passenger flights by their respective airlines into each other’s territories. Although with certain restrictive conditions in place due to the COVID-19 situation. The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation explains air bubbles as “Air Travel Arrangements” or “Transport Bubbles” which can be described as temporary arrangements between two countries where they plan to restart commercial passenger air services in the wake of regular international planes being halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since both the countries enjoy the benefit, they are called reciprocal in nature. 
March 23, 2020, onwards all scheduled international flights have been halted in India due to the coronavirus pandemic situation.  However, special international passenger planes have been flying in India under the air bubble pact with other countries since July 2020 and also under Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020. 

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