International flights from India will resume to three countries this month on an “interim” basis and “through bilateral air bubbles”, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a press conference on Thursday. Many countries, including India, have imposed restrictions on the entry of foreigners to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Till international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, I think answer will lie through bilateral air bubbles, which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions including India,” Puri said.

The aviation minister added that the country is in “advanced stage” talks with France, the United States and Germany for the resumption of international flights.

“We are at a very advanced stage between with three countries and it is a work-in-progress. For example, Air France will be operating 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris from 18 July to 1 August while US will be flying 18 flights between July 17-31, but this is an interim one. We have request from German carriers to permit flights to India and we are processing it,” Puri added.

A bilateral air bubble means a mutual trust between the two countries to open a travel corridor amid the virus scare. The trust is based on either large elimination of the virus from the countries or the authenticity of the testing numbers.