New Delhi: India and Maldives have agreed to create an "air travel bubble" to facilitate the movement of people between the two countries. The Maldives is the first neighbouring country with which India has operationalized the air bubble. The step will help in the movement of people from both sides for employment, tourism, medical emergencies etc.
The announcement was made after the video conference between External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.
During the virtual meet, Maldives FM thanked the Indian government for "including the Maldives among the first countries with which India has established an air bubble" and emphasised the "importance of easing travel, especially for Maldivians seeking to visit India for urgently required medical treatment, as well as Indian tourists wishing to visit the Maldives".
India already has transport air bubbles with the US, France, UK and Germany. Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, international air travel has been hit hard and counties like India have been focusing on the creation of air bubbles for safer travel and before normal air travel resumes.