The Indian Embassy in Riyadh announced on Friday through its official Twitter account that the air bubble agreement between Saudi Arabia and India will come into effect on January 1, 2022, bringing relief to thousands of Indian expatriates.
What is the Air Bubble Agreement?
The air bubble agreement is a temporary agreement between two countries to resume commercial passenger flights in the event that regular international flights are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
India-Saudi Arabia Air Bubble Agreement
India and Saudi Arabia have made an air bubble agreement, and now Indian and Saudi Arabian carriers can operate flights between India and Saudi Arabia and carry the following categories of passengers:
From India to Saudi Arabia
- Citizens and Residents of Saudi Arabia
- Any Indian national or national of Nepal or Bhutan holding a valid visa of Saudi Arabia and destined for Saudi Arabia only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian/Nepalese/Bhutanese nationals to enter Saudi Arabia before issue of ticket/boarding pass to the Indian/Nepalese /Bhutanese passenger.
From Saudi Arabia to India
- Indian nationals or nationals of Nepal or Bhutan in Saudi Arabia
- Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders holding passports of any country. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Non-Indian nationals to enter India with a particular visa category before issuing of ticket/boarding pass to the passenger; and
- Saudi Arabian nationals (including diplomats) holding a valid Indian visa as per extant guidelines.
Under this agreement, traffic carried to/from India shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to Saudi Arabia only, and similarly, traffic carried to/from Saudi Arabia shall comprise of passengers originating from/destined to India only.