Direct flights between India and Germany to resume from Oct 26

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 21, 2020

Lufthansa’s website shows its flights are available till December 31 this year for booking to and from India   -  PTI

AI to operate 7 flights from India including twice weekly from Bengaluru to Frankfurt

The impasse on operating direct flights between India and Germany has been broken with Air India tweeting that it will operate flights between Bengaluru and Delhi to Germany from October 26 to March 28 next year under the Air Transport Travel Bubble arrangements.

Sources in the airline said Air India is will operate flights between Delhi and Frankfurt every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; while the Bengaluru-Frankfurt service will operate every Thursday and Sunday. In effect, Air India will be operating seven times a week between India and Frankfurt.

While there was no official word from Lufthansa, its website shows that its flights are available till December 31 this year for booking to and from India as per the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement between the two nations.

The website lists ATB eligibility criteria for bookings from Wednesday which includes any Indian national holding a valid visa and all Overseas Citizens of India cardholders holding passports issued by any country in the EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa only and destined for any country in the EU/Schengen area, South America or Africa.

Air bubble and restrictions

On September 29, Lufthansa had announced that it was cancelling all planned flights between Germany and India from September 30 to October 20. This meant that Lufthansa’s plans of connecting Chennai to Germany and its global network, which it was planning from October this year did not start as planned.

In September, sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that India formalised an air bubble arrangement with Germany in July this year. “However, there were restrictions in place for Indian nationals desiring to travel to Germany which were putting Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage resulting in inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa. As against Indian carriers operating 3-4 flights a week, Lufthansa operated 20 flights a week. In spite of this disparity, we offered to clear seven flights a week for Lufthansa which was not accepted by them,” said sources in the DGCA.

Published on October 21, 2020

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