On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia suspended flights travel to and from India due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Other countries who are banned by Saudi Arabia’s flights are Brazil and Argentina.
Further, the country has also barred people who have travelled to any of these countries 14 days prior to their arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, the country has not mentioned how long they are banning travel to and from these countries.
“As per the directive, Indian airlines will now not be allowed to operate any flights to Saudi Arabia nor will any flights from the Gulf nation be allowed to fly to India from 24 September,” LiveMint quoted an unnamed official as saying.
As things stand, most Indian airlines, including Air India, SpiceJet, and IndiGo, have operated charter flights and repatriation flights from Saudi Arabia to India during the past few months. At present, India and Saudi Arabia don’t have bilateral travel under an air bubble arrangement.
Air bubble arrangements or travel corridors are temporary arrangements between two countries with an aim to carry out commercial passenger services at a time when regular international flight services are suspended.
Since March 23 the scheduled international passenger services remain suspended amid the rise of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements with other countries since July.
India has signed bilateral air bubble agreements with France and the US. As per the bilateral air bubble agreement, India will allow international flights from the signed countries.
A bilateral air bubble or travel bubble is a travel passage between two countries. The countries signing this agreement are those who wish to re-open their borders and re-establish travel connections with each other amid the pandemic. India already signed this agreement with the US and France.