Travel Bubble - Air Transport Bubble Agreement

What is a Travel Bubble Or Air Bubble Or Air Transport Bubble? The Government of all the Nations is implementing the ‘Travel Bubble’ or ‘Air Bubble’ agreement between the countries to alleviate a large number of quarantine and COVID-19 testing rules in arrival destinations. With the agreement of Air bubbles or travel corridors, a system is established between two nations that perceive each other to be safe and allow carriers of both the countries to fly passengers either way without any restrictions.

Since the topic of the Air transport bubble has been buzzing recently in the news, therefore, there are high chances that questions based on the Travel bubble can form a part of current affairs and general knowledge section.

Hence, Candidates preparing for various Government exams or competitive exams must go through the article carefully to prepare for the general awareness section of these exams. 

Air Travel Bubble – Why in the News?

As per the latest news, the India-Japan Air bubble will start in November. The Indian embassy announced that India and Tokyo are part of the Air Bubble System. Air India is to start Delhi-Tokyo flights in November. 

Air Transport Bubbles – Overview

  • Air Bubble agreement is the term coined during COVID-19 pandemic. It means that airlines of both countries in an arrangement will be permitted to fly passengers both ways.

Check COVID-19 facts and updates on the link provided here. 

  • Since the national and international travel and trade are thrown out of gear due to the coronavirus pandemic, these Travel bubbles are recommended to keep afloat a few parts of the global economy.
  • Creating an Air travel bubble includes reconnection of the states or nations that have shown a good level of success in mitigating the COVID-19 disease domestically. Air transport bubbles join states that have largely eliminated the virus, and who trust in each other’s testing and case numbers.
  • Travel Bubble is also known as air bridges or Covid-safe travel zones.
  • The concept of a travel bubble is reciprocal in nature which means that both the departure point and the arrival point have to be on board.
  • It also means that travel restrictions such as quarantining or testing of passengers have to be discarded among the countries in the bubble.

You can go through the Difference Between COVID-19 and SARS on the linked page. 

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India’s Proposal on Travel Bubble

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation- MoCA negotiated the setting up of Air Transport bubbles to restart scheduled international passenger flights.
  • It succeeded in establishing the bilateral bubbles with the US, France, Germany and UK.
  • India was negotiating with 13 other countries to resume international flight operations. These countries include Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
  • In July, India had initially established Air travel bubbles with the United States, Germany and France. Thereafter, the nation has formed air bubble agreements with 10 other nations namely, UAE, United Kingdom, Maldives, Nigeria, Canada, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan.

Since the travel bubble has been initiated post lockdown to revive the economy from the effect of COVID-19, the Government of India has taken various other initiatives to contain the disease and keep it floating. Some of these measures are – 

Aspirants can check more Schemes by Government of India on the linked page.

Air Bubble Agreement – Significance

  • The Travel bubble gives the opportunity to the members of the group to rekindle trade ties with each other, and reinstate the sectors such as travel and tourism.
  • Potential travel bubbles among better-performing countries around the world would account for around 35 percent of the global GDP. 
  • The Travel Bubble agreement especially is on the favour of smaller countries, who are likely to benefit after being able to trade again with larger partners.

How does Air Transport Bubble work?

  • People from the outside countries, willing to join the bubble corridor, will have to go into isolation for 14 days.
  • One should not have travelled outside the member countries of the travel bubble, in the past 14 days.
  • One should not be infected with coronavirus and should not have come in contact with anyone who has been coronavirus infected.

Aspirants preparing for various government exams can follow the links given below for assistance in their preparation.

Other Countries who started Air bubble

  • The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have started the ‘ Air Travel Bubble’ to help put their economies back on track post the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • South Korea and China have launched a fast track channel for business travellers.
  • NewZealand and Australia formed a travel bubble. Once it is safe to operate flights between them the trans-Tasman zone (around the Tasman Sea) will allow travel without a quarantine period.
  • Singapore- Germany set up ‘Green Lane’ to spur the essential business and official travel.
  • Hong-Kong Singapore Travel Bubble may start by late November. 

Other related links

The topic Air Travel Bubble holds relevance for UPSC exam as well. Candidates can expect questions on air bubbles in UPSC prelims, or as an Essay topic or in GS II.  

Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam can check the links given below –

  1. IAS 2021
  2. UPSC Calendar 2021

You can also check out the preparation strategies for competitive exams to fine-tune your exam prep.

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