Thursday, May 07, 2020

Air India repatriation flights with stranded Indians from UAE lands in Kochi, Kozhikode

Dubai: The two repatriation flights ferrying stranded Indian nationals from the United Arab Emirates has landed in Kochi from Abu Dhabi with 177 passengers. The flight took off from Abu Dhabi airport around 6:30 pm (IST).

The second flight from Dubai has also arrived at the Karipur International Airport in Kozhikode with 182 passengers.

India began its evacuation process, the largest in the world in these times of coronavirus, on Thursday in a mission to bring back around 15,000 stranded citizens from 12 countries, including the US and UK.

As many as 354 Indian nationals, including 11 pregnant women and a pair of twins, are set to come back home on Thursday in the two flights – one from Abu Dhabi to Kochi and the other from Dubai to Kozhikode – as part of the government’s ‘Vande Bharat Mission’.

The first set of passengers from the Air India Express flight that arrived in Kochi were first moved to screening centers, following which they were sent to quarantine centers in their respective districts from the airport for a period of 14 days as precaution.

“Great to see the Vande Bharat Mission Abu Dhabi-Kochi special flight IX452 taking off from the Abu Dhabi airport. Thanks all for cooperation and support for making it possible,” the Indian Consulate in the Arab country said on social media platform Twitter.

The Air India Express flight IX452 will be followed by the Dubai-Kozhikode flight.

“Vande Bharat Mission begins! The first flight with 177 passengers takes off from Abu Dhabi to Kochi. Team India will continue with its tireless efforts to bring Indians home,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on social media.
Stranded Indian passengers had started arriving at the Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports on Thursday morning, as early as 9:30am and some of them even carried the Indian national flag.

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor was seen interacting with the passengers when they were waiting to board the aircraft.
07/05/20 Murukesh/
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