Friday, April 03, 2020

United to start flying back Americans from India on Delhi-San Francisco repatriation flights

New Delhi: The United Airlines will start flying American citizens from India starting Sunday. The US major has told TOI it will “continue working with government officials in the near-term to play our part in bringing Americans home. Beginning April 5, United will begin operating repatriation flights from Delhi to San Francisco.”
Air India, the only Indian carrier with nonstops to North America, is operating quick turnaround flights to Europe to evacuate foreign citizens from India. These flights are operated with two sets of crew, with one set for each way and all of them on the flight back to India. Travel to North America is a at least a 14 hour long direct flight and will entail the crew to halt for a stopover. However, such halts are being avoided in the current situation. Air India is operating six evacuation flights for Canada that will see the airline dropping those citizens at London's Heathrow airport from where Canada will eventually further travel arrangements for its people.
The US embassy website in an update on Wednesday read: “We anticipate we will have several flights departing Mumbai and arriving in Atlanta, Georgia, beginning the weekend of April 4… The US Consulate General in Mumbai is working to facilitate ground transportation to Mumbai from areas likely to include Goa, some cities in Gujarat, and Pune. In cooperation with the US Consulates General in Chennai and Hyderabad, we are also working to arrange domestic charter flights to allow US Citizens from those areas to reach Mumbai.”
“We are making every effort to accommodate as many passengers as possible, however restrictions on the operation of international flights limit our ability to offer seats to all those who have expressed interest. The Government of India’s countrywide lockdown is set to expire on April 14, after which commercial airlines may resume providing flights,” the US Embassy update added.
03/04/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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