Mumbai: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday dismissed media reports claiming that the central government has “informally” asked airlines not to fly Chinese nationals into the country.”
“It is wrong to make suggestions as to citizen of which country should come. There is no such information from our side,” Puri stated.
At the moment, flights between India and China are not operating under restrictions imposed after the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year.
Ever since the central government began to relax restrictions, air bubble agreements have been launched for international and in-flight flights with several countries. However, currently, there is no such air bubble agreement between India and China.
To circumvent the sanctions, Chinese citizens are entering India through a third country with which India has such air bubble agreements. Like other foreigners, the current criteria apply to Chinese nationals flying into India from such countries.
There is no specific bar on citizens of a particular country from flying in the country. While tourist visas are suspended, foreigners can travel to India on work and some other specific categories of visas.
The development comes at a time when many Indian seafarers are stranded at several Chinese ports as authorities there have refused to board them or change crew. It is believed that about 1,500 Indian nationals working on merchant naval vessels are trapped due to the move.