Wednesday, May 13, 2020

"30,000 Indians To Return": Aviation Minister On Vande Bharat, Phase 2

New Delhi: Around 30,000 Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown will be repatriated in the second phase of the "Vande Bharat" mission, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said this afternoon.
In his tweet Mr Puri said 149 flights would be operated to 31 countries between May 16 and May 22, with the majority going to Australia (seven), Russia (six) and Canada (five). Armenia, Japan, Nigeria, Italy, Germany, France, Ireland and Nepal are among other countries from where Indians will be repatriated, according to the tweet by Mr Puri.

"In 1st phase of Vande Bharat we were to bring back 14,800 Indians on 64 flights. 8500 Indians have already returned till this morning. More flights are underway. In the 2nd phase the numbers are being doubled. 30,000 more Indians will return from 31 countries on 149 flights," Mr Puri said.
As per Air India officials quoted in a report by news agency PTI, Thailand, Belarus, Bahrain and Bangladesh are also on the list.

"In the second phase, Air India and Air India Express will operate 149 flights to countries such as the US, the UAE, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Malaysia, Oman, Kazakhstan, Australia, Ukraine, Qatar and Indonesia," airline officials told PTI.

In the first phase - May 7 to May 14 - nearly 15,000 people were brought back on 64 flights sent to 12 countries, including the US and the UK, as well as Gulf countries and Malaysia and Singapore.

India has been under lockdown since March 25 to break the coronavirus chain of transmission. During this time all international (and domestic) flights have been banned, leaving tens of thousands of Indians stranded abroad and thousands of foreign nationals stuck in India.
13/05/20 PTI/NDTV
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