German airline Lufthansa said that it has cancelled all planned flights to India between September 30 and October 20 after Indian authorities rejected Lufthansa's planned flight schedule.
Lufthansa had applied for the continuation of special flights it was granted to operate until the end of September. India has so far not accepted the invitation by the German government to discuss details regarding a temporary travel agreement between both countries, leading to a special permission being necessary.
"Due to the Indian government's rejection, Lufthansa will now have to cancel all planned flights between Germany and India between September 30 and October 20," the carrier said in a statement.
India currently has air bubble arrangements with 13 countries. This includes USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan.
Air bubbles are corridors where two countries can allow carriers of both the countries to fly passengers either way without any restrictions.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that India had a formalized air bubble with Germany. However, since there were restrictions in place for Indians wanting to travel to Germany, this put Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage.
Lufthansa has urged Indian authorities to work together with the German government in order to establish a temporary travel agreement between both countries.
It had originally scheduled flights for October in order to continue connecting Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore with Europe and other regions. The schedule would also have seen the addition of flights to and from Chennai, the company 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," the German carrier added.