India-Qatar to commence flights from 18 August under ‘Air Bubble’ agreement
India and Qatar are set to resume overseas passengers flights from 18th August 2020 under the ‘bilateral air bubble’, even as coronavirus infection crossed the 2.53 million mark in India.
India has suspended international passengers flights since March amid coronavirus outbreak but some cargo flights and evacuation flights under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ are allowed to continue their services. The new edition of ‘Air bubble agreement’ between India and Qatar will give relief to the Indians and Qataris who are stuck in each other’s country.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Qatar have created an ‘Air bubble’ to facilitate travel between the two countries. An ‘Air bubble’ is a bilateral agreement between two countries in which airlines from both countries can operate international flights with proper rules and regulations.
According to the ‘Air bubble’ agreement between India and Qatar, the arrangement is valid from 18th August 2020 to 31st August 2020.
In a letter dated 14th August 2020, Indian ministry said that “Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) may clear the flights of Qatar Airways and Indian carriers on a weekly basis in an equitable manner (based on a comparable number of seats) provided they submit clearances from the concerned State Government and the Indian Mission in Qatar along with the application for the flights.”
Both Indian and Qatari carriers will be allowed to operate flights for the following passengers:
1) From India to Qatar
- Qatari Nationals
- Any Indian National holding any type of valid Qatar visa and destined for Qatar visa and destined for Qatar only. It would be for the concerned airlines to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Qatar with the particular visa category before the issue of ticket/boarding pass to the Indian passenger.
2) From Qatar to India
- Indian nationals stranded in Qatar
- All overseas citizens of India (OCI) cardholders holding Qatari passports, and
- Qatari nationals (including diplomats) holding a valid visa issued by an Indian mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30th June 2020.
— India in Qatar (@IndEmbDoha) August 14, 2020
Tickets will be sold only through websites, sales agents and global distribution systems of both Indian and Qatar airlines.