India and Saudi Arabia sign air travel bubble agreement
According to TOI, as regular scheduled flights remain suspended in India, thanks to the new variant of coronarvirus, Omicron, India has announced new bubble flight agreement with Saudi Arabia. Passengers will be able to fly between India and Saudi Arabia, under the new air travel bubble agreement soon. The Indian Embassy in Riyadh has said that this agreement will come into effect starting January 1, 2022.
This means that interested travellers may be able to travel to and from Saudi Arabia from January 1 onwards. Saudi Arabia is the 34th country to have an air travel bubble agreement with India. The other 33 are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, UAE, Australia, Ethiopia, Finland, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Afghanistan, France, Germany, Iraq, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, USA, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, and Uzbekistan.
India’s scheduled international passenger flight operations are suspended until January 31, 2022. Out of the ten countries that the Indian government had proposals for air travel bubble agreement, two have already been confirmed, and these are Saudi Arabia, and Australia. It is expected that New Zealand, and Thailand will also sign air travel bubble agreements with India.
An official statement mentioned, “India has created an air bubble arrangement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Indian carriers and carriers of Saudi Arabia are now permitted to operate flights between India and Saudi Arabia and carry passengers on flights defined in the agreement. Traffic carried to/from India shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to Saudi Arabia only, and similarly, traffic carried to/from Saudi Arabia shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to India only.”
Fortunately, Saudi Arabia had recognised India’s Covaxin as a COVID-19 vaccine just last week. So this is a good news for Indian travellers who have taken this vaccine.
Please note that the air travel bubble is open for Indian national or national of Nepal or Bhutan who hold a valid visa of Saudi Arabia, and whose final destination is Saudi Arabia.