Dubai: UAE residents planning to fly to India aboard any flight now need not register with the Indian missions in the UAE anymore. They can now proceed to directly book their tickets with the airline they are flying on. This will include all Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights to India operated by Air India and Air India Express.
An announcement to this effect was made by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and it applies to a total of seven countries, including the UAE, which have entered into an ‘air-bubble’ arrangement with India.
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Apart from the UAE, the countries include the US, UK, France, Canada, Germany and Qatar as India has entered into an ‘air transport bubble’ arrangement with them.
The Indian Civil Aviation Ministry explained the Standard Operating Protocol for passengers flying to India from countries which are part of this agreement so far. The Indian Consulate in Dubai clarified that VBM passengers no longer need to register with the Indian missions in the UAE before flying to India.
Neeraj Agrawal, Consul, Press at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, told Gulf News : “Air transport bubble, also known as the corona corridor, is an arrangement between two countries that allows their residents to travel to these countries in the absence of full-fledged commercial flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a sort of a bilateral arrangement made by the countries. Currently, India has this agreement with UAE and six other countries and is actively considering the same for some other countries. Registration of passengers flying to India is no longer required and the bookings may be done directly with the airlines. This also includes all the VBM flights as these fall within the air bubble arrangement.”
Agarwal further said that even the PCR test before flying is not mandatory although highly recommended. “Passengers flying from UAE are advised to take the rtPCR test for COVID-19. They can register themselves on the www.newdelhiairport.in portal and upload their report. This portal is applicable to all destinations in India. If a negative test is uploaded, then passengers arriving in India will not be required to undergo the paid institutional quarantine at a hotel and can proceed home,” he explained.