KUWAIT: Kuwait and India have inked a ‘transport bubble’ agreement that may allow limited flights between the two countries to resume, according to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The arrangement would “uplift stranded passengers both to and from India.” Only a limited number of flights for amnesty seekers and those wishing to leave Kuwait have been able to make the trip to India since the country closed its airspace.
A ‘transport bubble’ agreement has been signed with Kuwait to uplift stranded passenger both to/from India. More similar arrangements are likely to fructify and ease passenger movements from different countries,” a DGCA statement said. To allow gradual movement of passenger traffic during the COVID-19 situation, ‘transport bubble’ agreements have also been signed with the USA, France, and Germany.
An estimated 7,300 Indians have so far returned under the general amnesty scheme announced by the Kuwait government in April while another 16,000 Indians who availed of the general amnesty remain stranded in the country. According to some estimates, nearly 100,000 Indian citizens are wishing to return to their country waiting for the clearance from the authorities.
Earlier this week, the Kuwait government announced that upon the reopening of the Kuwait International Airport on Aug 1, citizens and residents of the country may travel to and from the State of Kuwait, except for residents coming from the following countries: Sri Lanka, India, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Iran and Pakistan”. Residents from those seven countries may return only after spending 14 days in a third country before arrival to Kuwait.
Meanwhile, India’s DGCA on Friday said the suspension of scheduled international flights to and from the country had been extended till August 31.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the government had decided to “extend the suspension on scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India up to 23:59 hours IST of August 31”. This restriction would not be applicable to international all-cargo operations and flights approved by the DGCA, the statement added.