Ukraine joins the list of India’s air travel bubbles – Condé Nast Traveller India

India has yet another country with which it has established an air bubble. The latest travel bubble will allow Indians to travel to and from Ukraine. 

Travel bubbles” or “air bubbles” are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services while regular international flights remain suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reciprocal in nature, meaning airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits, as highlighted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation

India’s air bubbles

India previously established such air bubbles with Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, the UK, and the USA. 

Despite travel restrictions and commercial flights being grounded, the Vande Bharat Mission has been operating special international passenger flights under bilateral air bubble arrangements formed between India and other countries. These went into effect in July and will continue in the near future as there’s no clarity yet on when regular scheduled international flights will resume in India.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India is currently in talks with Italy, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan to create more such temporary travel arrangements. 

Terms of the air bubble between India and Ukraine

The air bubble agreement between India and Ukraine is valid until 30 November, 2020. Indian and Ukrainian carriers can now operate flights between the two countries. Ukraine’s base will be its capital, Kyiv. India has yet to decide the cities from where the flights to and from Ukraine will operate. 

These are the terms of operation: 

Who can fly to India: 

  • Indian nationals in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries (excluding Russia) 
  • All Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by Ukraine 
  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports issued by any CIS country (excluding Russia and Ukraine) who are eligible to enter India as per the guidelines of India’s Home Ministry 
  • Nationals of CIS countries excluding Russia (but including diplomatic and service/official passportholders) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs’ guidelines

Who can fly to Ukraine: 

  • Nationals/residents of CIS countries (excluding Russia)
  • Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa of Ukraine, including diplomatic and official passportholders 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,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

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