India planning air bubble with 13 countries: Minister Puri

India is negotiating with 13 countries, including Australia, Japan and Singapore, to establish separate bilateral air bubble arrangements for international flight operations, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said.

Under a bilateral air bubble pact, airlines of both the countries can operate international flights with certain restrictions. Puri said on Twitter air bubbles have also been proposed with our neighbours Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan.

Since July, India has established such bubbles with the following countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, the UAE, Qatar and the Maldives. “We are now taking these efforts forward & are negotiating with 13 more countries to establish such arrangements,” he said.

“These countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand,” he added.

“It is always our endeavour to reach out to every stranded citizen. No Indian will be left behind,” he said.

All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave-without-pay and firings of employees in order to conserve cash.