COVID-19: India’s ministerial initiatives to resume passenger travel to Gulf countries


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“Our ambassadors were requested at that meeting to take up with their host countries the issue of resumption of flights with India,” Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a briefing.
Image Credit: Gulf News

New Delhi: India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, who deals with the Gulf and the rest of the Arab world, V Muraleedharan, has held a meeting with Indian ambassadors in the Gulf to discuss initiatives to resume passenger flights to India from their countries of accreditation.

“Our ambassadors were requested at that meeting to take up with their host countries the issue of resumption of flights with India,” Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a briefing. “We hope that with the vastly improved COVID-19 situation in India, countries would ease restrictions on travel from India.”

Bagchi said India’s Minister for External Affairs, Dr. S Jaishankar, has specifically raised this issue during a bilateral meeting with his Saudi counterpart on the margins of the recently-concluded Group of Twenty (G-20) ministerial meeting in Italy.

He added that Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has raised the issue of normalization of travel and mobility of students as well as professionals and enabling of family reunions with his counterparts. “We are actively trying to help Indians who need to travel back to various countries across the world.”

This is the second time since India was affected by a second wave of the pandemic that Bagchi has flagged the issue of air travel to and from India. “We have seen some initial steps in this regard,” he said in an earlier briefing. “The government will continue to prioritise this issue.”

Bookings have re-opened on flight services from next week to Dubai from destinations in India, going by travel websites. Routes from India to Dubai are expected to re-open on July 15 after going through multiple delays, in part due to the fast-spreading ‘Delta variant’ of the COVID-19 virus. Abu Dhabi will allow Indian passengers from July 21. “We are expecting flights to open after Eid,” said a travel industry source. Read more 



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