After a long hiatus of more than six months, there are preparations to resume commercial flights between Bangladesh and India. A foreign ministry source in Delhi told the Bengali Tribune that the final announcement would be made on Tuesday (September 29) following a virtual meeting of the Joint Advisory Commission (JCC) headed by the foreign ministers of the two countries.

At the moment, thousands of Bangladeshi civilians are waiting to come to India for medical treatment or various business purposes. But they are unable to come due to aviation stops. If this decision is implemented, their long wait will also end. Indian citizens can visit Bangladesh again.

The system under which flights between the two countries will resume is called ‘Transport Bubble’ or ‘Air Travel Arrangement’. Translated meaning ‘sky-bubble’.

The reason for such nomenclature is that this method will only work mutually between two countries. There will be no third country role here. In other words, if a passenger gets off the plane in Dhaka and lands directly in a ‘bubble’ at an airport in India, sometimes he will not come into contact with any other country. Only airlines of the two countries concerned will be able to operate in this manner.

According to the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry, in the last two months, they have entered into agreements with 14 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, France and Japan to set up an air bubble. In addition, the list includes Middle Eastern countries Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Nigeria in Africa, Maldives in South Asia, Afghanistan and Bhutan. If all goes well, India’s ‘sky-bubble’ will be announced in a couple of days with Bangladesh.

India’s top government officials say they have been in talks with Bangladesh for the past several weeks to launch an air bubble. When Indian Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla visited Dhaka on August 18, he discussed the issue with his counterpart in Bangladesh, Masood bin Moman.

In fact, most foreign nationals now come to India from Bangladesh, numbering around (16–18 lakhs) (annually). The coronavirus epidemic has long stopped that tourist. And now that India has ended the lockdown and has started the process of ‘unlocking’, the Bangladeshis should come to India again to revive the wheel of the economy – an absolute urge from Delhi.

As a result, a month earlier (August 26), the outgoing Indian Ambassador to Dhaka Rewa, Ganguly Das, was Bangladesh’s Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Tourism. When he went to meet Mehboob Ali, there was a detailed discussion between the two countries on various aspects of launching ‘Akash-Bubble’. Since then, officials of both countries have been talking about finalizing its various ‘logistics’, which is about to be finalized soon.

It has been decided that representatives of the two countries, led by Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Moman and Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, will meet on Tuesday (29 September) through a virtual forum. This will be the first time that the JCC meeting between the two countries will be held online, but the regular bilateral issues discussed on the JCC will be no exception.

Apart from starting a sky-bubble between the two countries, the meeting can also decide on several other important issues. Contains:

a. Determination of the date and preliminary agreement of the next meeting of the Joint River Commission on the distribution of water in six similar rivers, including Gomti-Dudhkumar-Dharala.

B. Mujibvarsha celebrations outline and golden jubilee of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations

C. Constitution of a secretary level committee to oversee projects to be implemented in Bangladesh under India’s line of credit or line of credit.

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