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India, Nepal decide to resume flight services under air bubble arrangement

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New Delhi: India and Nepal have decided to resume flight services between the two countries under an air bubble arrangement, sources said on Thursday.

Initially, the service will start with one flight daily from each side between Delhi and Kathmandu, they said.

“We had proposed to Nepal some time back and Nepal has cleared it now,” said a source.

The sources said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, during his recent visit to Nepal, had highlighted the importance of people-to-people connectivity in sync with the special relationship between the two countries.

The sources said the service will be started with Indians and Nepalese nationals and all those having valid Indian visa except tourist visa.

People having Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards will also be allowed to travel.

From the Indian side, the flights will be operated by Air India which, in normal times, had a daily flight between Delhi and Kathmandu, the sources said.

“Air bubble arrangement will follow medical protocols as is being done with other countries which includes RT PCR test report of 72 hours prior to travel,” the source said.

Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, special international passenger flights have been operating in India under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements formed between India and other countries since July. (PTI)

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