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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Air Bubble to continue as India extends ban on international flights

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Muscat: India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday delayed the resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger airline services to or from India, mentioning that it will notify its decision on the same in due time.


In November, India had announced that commercial international flights will fully resume from December 15, after a gap of more than 20 months.


That decision, however, was reviewed following reports related to the Omicron variant.


With this decision, the air-bubble agreement signed by India with around 30 countries, including Oman, is likely to continue, which means only a few airlines will be allowed to operate with limited seats in the offering.


As per the agreement, both Indian and Omani airlines can carry the following passengers – nationals/residents of Oman, any Indian national holding a valid residency permit of Oman, and destined for Oman only.


Currently, only Oman Air and Salam Air, Air India and Air India Express are allowed to carry passengers in this sector.


Passengers, both residents and citizens travelling to and from India have been hoping for the widening of the air bubble agreement that will allow more airlines to operate in this sector, and subsequently, bring fares down.


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