India bubble gets all-clear
The cabinet has approved an air travel bubble with India which is expected to commence later this month, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday.
Ms Rachada said the bubble proposed by the Transport Ministry was submitted to the cabinet for consideration after the agreement with Delhi was concluded.
The proposed bubble came after commercial flights between the two countries were suspended due to an upsurge of Covid-19 infections in India in late March. Afterwards, authorities in India asked Thailand to look at the possibility of resuming air links through a bubble arrangement.
Under the agreement, only Thai, Indian, Nepali and Bhutanese nationals and other nationalities originating from either Thailand or India who hold a valid visa to enter either country will be eligible to fly.
Airlines will be responsible for vetting travellers before issuing boarding passes.
Flights under the arrangement will be direct between the two countries and it is hoped they will begin later this month, Ms Rachada said.
The restarting of commercial flights between Thailand and India will come as a relief to carriers that previously operated the route which have seen their revenues plunge as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the revived air traffic from India will help increase the number of tourists to Thailand along with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, Ms Rachada said.