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Lufthansa calls for travel agreement between India and Germany after DGCA cancels all its flights

Lufthansa calls for travel agreement between India and Germany after DGCA cancels all its flights

Lufthansa calls for travel agreement between India and Germany after DGCA cancels all its flights
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By CNBC-TV18 Sept 29, 2020 11:07:28 PM IST (Updated)

German airlines group Lufthansa on Tuesday called for a temporary travel agreement between India and Germany after New Delhi unexpectedly rejected its planned flight schedule for October.

German airlines group Lufthansa on Tuesday called for a temporary travel agreement between India and Germany after New Delhi unexpectedly rejected its planned flight schedule for October.

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The airline said such an agreement is necessary to address the urgent need of tens of thousands of Indians and foreign nationals for travel to and from India and would also help balance the interests of both countries’ airlines.
According to Lufthansa, the airline had applied for the continuation of special flights it was granted to operate until the end of September. This application process is necessary since India has so far not accepted the invitation by the German government to discuss details regarding a temporary travel agreement between both countries, it said.
Lufthansa said due to the Indian government's rejection, it has to cancel all planned flights between Germany and India between September 30 and October 20.
The airline had originally scheduled flights for October in order to continue connecting Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore with Europe and other regions in Lufthansa’s worldwide network. The October schedule would also have seen the addition of flights to and from Chennai, one of the most important cities in southern India, the airline said.
"As visa issuance is restarting and demand for flights to and from India is increasing, it is regrettable that Lufthansa is currently being unnecessarily restricted in its ability to serve its loyal Indian customers and enable their desired travel," it added.
Further, the airline said, "Lufthansa has been and always will be deeply committed to the Indian market and its customers. Once Indian authorities agree on talks with the German government to establish a temporary travel agreement, Lufthansa is set to continue serving the Indian people in these unprecedented times as it has done for decades: by offering safe travel to and from Germany and other countries worldwide."
Reacting to Lufthansa's allegations, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the air bubble arrangement formalised by New Delhi and Germany in July 2020 is putting Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage resulting in inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa.
"As against Indian carriers operating 3-4 flights a week, Lufthansa operated 20 flights a week. In spite of this disparity, we offered to clear 7 flights a week for Lufthansa which was not accepted by them. Negotiations continue," DGCA said.
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