Aviation Ministry tells to international passengers: Book directly with airlines, no need to apply to us

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New Delhi: Passengers taking international flights from India need not apply to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). They can directly book their tickets with the airlines, said an official statement Wednesday. It said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation had nothing to do with international travel.

A standard operating protocol was issued August 22 by the Home Ministry. It stated that persons who are eligible to travel on outbound flights ‘will apply to MoCA or an agency/agencies designated by MoCA for this purpose with necessary details, including places of departure & arrival’.

The MoCA said Wednesday on Twitter that it ‘has designated all the airlines operating under Vande Bharat Mission and air transport bubble arrangements as designated agencies for this purpose’.

“Passengers may book tickets directly with the airlines concerned. They need not apply/register with the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” it added.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating under ‘Vande Bharat’ Mission and bilateral air bubble arrangements.

Since July this year, India has signed separate bilateral air bubble arrangements with various countries. Among them are the United States, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Germany, France and Qatar.

Under a bilateral bubble pact, airlines of both the countries can operate special international passenger flights with certain restrictions.

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