Air India to operate daily repatriation flights between India and Europe (Germany/France) through July/August 2020 (Bookings open July 18, 8 PM IST)

At the speed at which Air India has been operating repatriation flights from/to Europe, they were recently ruffling too many feathers. Air India, which was the sole operator of Vande Bharat flights till a while back, was asked to offload passengers flying from Delhi to Paris because the authorisation was only to repatriate passengers from Paris to India.

The Indian borders are closed till July 31, 2020, for now so regular commercial flights are not possible at the moment from India for any airline. Which means the only way to operate to India is via cargo flights or via charters. A third way is to do it via repatriation flights. KLM and Air France have been operating some flights for a while now.

Last week, India granted permission to KLM and Air France for operating 21 flights from India to Europe till the end of July 2020. There is also an option to take connecting flights from Europe onwards to Canada, USA, Central and South America too. There are some repatriation flights being planned with Lufthansa too. Now, Air India has received reciprocal permission to fly in/out of Paris and Frankfurt in the coming weeks.

France

Air India will operate thrice a week flights from Delhi to Paris and back from July 22 to August 30, 2020. That should be 17 flights in each direction by my count.

Here is Air India’s advice on who all will be allowed to board Delhi-Paris flights.

  • Spouses and children of French citizens.
  • Nationals of third countries limited to persons who have their main residence in France or in the European Union or an assimilated country thereof (United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, Vatican and San Marino)
  • Holders of a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa, and their spouses and children
  • Persons in transit to their country of origin, who should present the travel document for their country of origin and remain in the international zone without entering the national territory
  • Healthcare professionals for the purposes of combating COVID-19
  • Transporters of goods, including sailors
  • Crews and personnel operating passenger and cargo flights, or travelling as passengers to reach their departure base
  • Personnel of diplomatic and consular missions, as well as international organizations headquartered or having an office in France, holding a special residence permit or a visa D “carte PROMAE”

To fly into India, you need to be an Indian national or an OCI Cardholder fulfilling certain requirements.

Germany

Air India will operate four times a week flights from Delhi to Frankfurt and back from July 25 to August 31, 2020. That should be 20 flights in each direction by my count.

All non-essential entry into Germany is prohibited for holders of Schengen Visa and of Visas of Category D (long term). Here is Air India’s advice on who all will be allowed to board Delhi-Frankfurt flights.

  • Holders of Residence permits (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) and Permanent residence permits (Niederlassungserlaubnis)
  • Holders of Family Reunion Visas (Category D)
  • Holders of Long term (Category D) visas for employment in Health and Health research sectors, for care of elderly as well as specialists and highly qualified workers whose employment is economically necessary and whose work cannot be postponed or carried out abroad
  • Long term (Category D) visas for study purposes as long as the studies cannot be carried out completely from abroad
  • Proof of Eligibility has to be presented at immigration point in Germany, e.g copy of marriage (registration) certificate as well as Passport and Residence Permit of spouse residing in Germany, confirmation issued by employer/university about the mandatory physical presence in Germany
  • Transit is permitted to other EU countries where entry is allowed, and to onward travel to non-EU countries when Schengen transit visa waiver is applicable (e.g for holders of Green Cards of the USA or Canada)

To fly into India, you need to be an Indian national or an OCI Cardholder fulfilling certain requirements.

Booking these flights

These flights will be put up for sale by Air India on their own website today at 8 PM India time (4:30 PM Germany/France). You can also book these tickets via Air India ticketing offices, and now, officially, with Travel Agents. This should mean the flights would also be available on OTAs such as MakeMyTrip and so on.


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Comments

  1. VBM charges are EXTREMELY too high and banned in US and other countries. .. This is THE broad day light cheating (robbery) by Indian government to rescue BANKRUPT Air India .. what a shameful SCAM on citizens of India by Indian
    When is SCHEDULED direct or indirect Air India INTERNATIONAL flight between Ahmedabad and London resuming .. any input here ..

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