Air Bubble Agreement Between India And Maldives

The ministry also announced that a freight transport service between India and the Maldives would start at an early stage. In addition to the Male link, the ferry service offers the potential to connect the port of Kulhudhudhuhfushi to India and improve the economy of the northern Maldives. The initiative to boost tourism was announced during Modi`s two-day state visit to the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2019 Read | India is thinking about bilateral air bubbles – what are they and what are the risks? “TransportPipe” or “air travel agreement” are temporary agreements between two countries to resume commercial passenger traffic in the event of suspension of scheduled international flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reciprocal, which means that airlines in both countries enjoy similar advantages. The agreement with the Maldives was reached during a video conference between Foreign Minister Dr Jaishankar and his Maldives counterpart Abdulla Shahid. During the virtual meeting, India also announced a new $400 million Indian Credit Line of Credit (LoC), as well as a $100 million grant component for the Greater Male Connectivity Project. It will be the largest infrastructure project in the Maldives and connect Male to the islands of Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. The first flight under the air bubble deal is scheduled to depart from Male on Tuesday, August 18. However, it remains to be announced which airlines will operate on the route.

Before the pandemic lockdown, IndiGo (6E), Go Air (G8) and SpiceJet (SG) had direct flights from Indian cities to Male. Once the air bubble is established, it will allow the operation of a limited number of flights between some Indian airports and the Maldives. This could happen even before Indian airports are officially open to international flights. Beyond tourists, this will definitely help Indian citizens who work in the hospitality, health and education sectors in the Maldives to return to the island state and return to work. Under the concept of a country-to-country agreement on air bubbles, citizens with valid travel documents can travel freely between certain countries and do not have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival. The creation of the air bubble aims to promote the influx of people from both sides for tourism, employment, the economy, medical emergencies, etc. In line with its vision to strengthen international connectivity from India, IndiGo recently launched two weekly flights between India and the Maldives under the air bubble.