Thailand and India have reportedly entered into a bilateral agreement to resume operations of flights between the two countries. The air bubble pact was earlier announced by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). The tourism department of Thailand as well as Thai Airways have announced tourism activities and flight routes respectively, adding that they were awaiting further confirmation. By Eshita Srinivas
A recent update on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s official website stated that the country had entered into an air travel bubble arrangement with Thailand. With this, Indian and Thai carriers would be permitted to operate flights to and from destinations in either country, with a select set of passengers and India’s air bubble tally would go up to 37 countries, including Australia, Bhutan, Netherlands, the USA, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. Although further details on the pact are awaited, Thai Airways has announced flights to several cities in India and the Thai tourism department has launched a campaign to welcome Indian tourists back into the country.
Thai Airways announces flights to 4 major Indian cities as a part of the air bubble
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— Thai Airways (@ThaiAirways) February 21, 2022
The official statement by the MoCA read, “India has created an air bubble arrangement with Thailand.” It further added, “Traffic carried to/from India shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to Thailand only, and similarly, traffic carried to/from Thailand shall comprise of passengers originating from India only,” Economic Times reports. However, further confirmation is awaited, since the update is no longer up on the website.
Transport bubbles are temporary arrangements between countries to resume commercial operations, especially when international travel in either country is otherwise suspended due to the pandemic. While Thailand recently reopened to all vaccinated international tourists, India is set to lift its ban on international travel sometime in March.
Thai Airways took to Twitter to announce flights from the capital to several major cities in India, starting March 1. Flights between Bangkok and Delhi will operate five days a week while Mumbai and the Thai capital will have flights three days of the week namely Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Chennai will have flights three days a week, while Bengaluru’s schedule lists two days a week. “We are pleased to advise that effective March 1, 2022, Thai Airways flights will commence between India and Thailand under the Air Travel Bubble. The schedule of flights and fares is updated in all the GDS,” the airways announced in a statement, as per Economic Times.
🇹🇭 PRESS RELEASE: The Tourism Authority of Thailand has outlined the latest marketing strategy in response to the approval that has been given to an ‘air travel bubble’ arrangement with India https://t.co/3O6HDvBWKb #Thailand #ThaiTravelNews pic.twitter.com/HBkDlOZEZ4
— TAT Newsroom (@Tatnews_Org) February 22, 2022
At the moment, entry requirements into Thailand include holding a valid Thailand visa. Airlines bear the brunt of ensuring that tickets are not issued without all the valid documents needed for travel being approved. Visitors will need to pre-pay for two RT-PCR tests before arrival, one to be taken before departure and one five days post-arrival. Travellers will also need to get insurance for potential hospital stays, but the quarantine requirement has been dropped to a day in some hotels.
The tourism authority of Thailand recently launched their “Miss You” campaign, with images inviting Indians to experience Thailand once again. It has also announced that it would co-organize networking sessions in key cities like Delhi and Kolkata to further promote Thai products and services in the country, Pattaya News reports.
Feature and hero image: Mathew Schwartz/Unsplash