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Thai cabinet approves air travel bubble agreement with India as flights resume between both nations, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld


Thai cabinet approves air travel bubble agreement with India as flights resume between both nationsAfter airlines from India and Thailand announced resumption of daily direct flights between both the nations, the Thai Cabinet has also given its approval to the air bubble transport agreement signed by governments of both the countries. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India had shared details about the agreement on its website last week but later the Tourism Authority of Thailand had confirmed the agreement is pending approval from the Thai Cabinet.

As per the latest statement issued by the Civil Aviation of Thailand and MoCA, Thai and Indian airlines are now allowed to offer flights through the travel bubble scheme between the two countries, allowing citizens and visa holders to travel between Thailand and India. Commercial flights between the two countries have been suspended since March 23, 2020 on the onset of Covid-19. According to the arrangement, commercial flights between the two countries will be allowed to fly passengers of Thai, Indian, Nepal and Bhutan nationalities as well as other nationalities that have visas to enter both Thailand and India.

After Thai Airways, its subsidiary Thai Smile apart from major Indian carriers such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and Go First have launched bilateral flights between both nations. Direct connections under the air bubble agreement are between Thai capital Bangkok & Phuket, and key metro cities in India – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.

Sharing details, the note from Tourism Authority of Thailand, India office mentioned that foreigners and Thais travelling to India are required to hold a valid Indian visa and Indian nationals and foreigners travelling from India to Thailand must hold a valid Thai visa. According to the ministry, the airlines must make sure all the passengers meet the requirement for entry before issuing boarding passes to the passengers to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Indian tourists make up a large portion of Thailand’s tourism market, with more than 1.96 million Indian tourists visiting Thailand in 2019. On an average, Indian tourists spend seven days and approximately 45,000 baht in Thailand. Thai Airways, Thai Smile and Indian carriers such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and Go First have already shared their proposed flights schedule connecting Bangkok and Phuket with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru.

In another update, the Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi has informed that processing time for all types of visa applications received for an availing a Thai visa in India will be four days effective February 28. The embassy in an order further asked applicants with their respective visa facilitator VFS Global or BLS International for more details and visa queries.

Flights from Thai Capital Bangkok to Delhi and back will fly five days a week. Between Mumbai and Bangkok, flights will be operated three times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Between Chennai and Bangkok too, flights will be operated thrice a week whereas, between Bangkok and Bengaluru, Thai Airways will fly twice a week from both the cities.





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