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SWISS to operate direct flights with India soon; Air bubble-agreement to be signed

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) will welcome travellers from India from January 10 with the two countries set to sign an air-bubble agreement allowing their respective national carriers to operate flights between the two countries.

SWISS will operate direct flights to and from Mumbai twice a week from early next year. Flights to Zurich will depart from Mumbai on Wednesdays and Fridays. Return flights to Mumbai will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays. SWISS will launch more flights from Mumbai and Delhi over the next few months.

The airline has, however, advised travellers to adhere to the passenger eligibility criteria mentioned during booking and to check transit regulations for Switzerland.

Switzerland has long been a popular tourist destination for Indians. After the Swiss government accepted India’s vaccines, it opened the country to Indians fully vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishied.

The tiny European country will require fully vaccinated adults entering the country to fill out a form and present their Covid-19 vaccine certificate. They will also be required to produce an RT-PCR test result upon arrival. However, the Switzerland government has waived the mandatory second test within four to seven days of arrival for fully vaccinated travellers. The exemption has also been extended to people who have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

India suspended scheduled international passenger services on March 23, 2020, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, it has allowed special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May that year. It also launched bilateral air bubble-arrangements with select countries in July 2020.

India has air bubble-arrangements with several European countries that have accepted the country’s vaccine certificate. It was scheduled to resume scheduled international flights from December 15. However, the spread of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, first detected in South Africa and then spread across European Union countries, forced the government to review its decision. (Source FE)

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