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India-Oman air bubble: Who can travel? All you need to know

India has announced air bubble with Oman starting from October 1. But what are ‘air bubbles’ in international travel? Who can use and benefit from the new agreement between the two countries? Here’s what you need to know.

TAS News Service
October 1, 2020 3:45 pm

: In a huge relief, India has announced ‘air bubble’ flight travel arrangements with Oman starting from Thursday, October 1 until November 30.

As per the agreement designated carriers of both the countries are now permitted to operate services between India and Oman. 

What is an air bubble? 
In order to mitigate a host of quarantine and Covid-10 testing rules in arrival destinations, governments are implementing “air bubble” agreements between countries. Air bubbles or travel corridors are systems established between two countries that perceive each other to be safe and allow carriers of both the countries to fly passengers either way without any restrictions.

It is different from repatriation flights, which are only one way and the passengers have to register themselves with the embassy to board such flights. However, for air bubble travel there are no such procedures required. 

Who are allowed to travel? 
A.  Flights from Oman to India

Both Indian and Omani airlines while operating inbound flights into India can carry the following passengers:
a) Indian nationals stranded in Oman;
b) All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding passports of Oman; and
c) Nationals of Oman (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30.06.2020 as amended from time to time.
B.  Flights from India to Oman

While operating outbound flights from India, both Indian and Omani airlines can carry the following passengers:
a) Nationals/residents of Oman;
b) Any   Indian national holding valid residency permit of Oman   and destined for Oman only. It would  be for the airlines  concerned  to ensure the Indian nationals are eligible to enter Oman before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

2. The operations will be subject to strict adherence to the SOP issued by the civil aviation authorities and other COVID19 related guidelines issued by the authorities of both sides.

3. Tickets for the flights can be sold through the airlines’ website or through sales agents or the Global Distribution Systems.

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