Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dubai hotelier arranges chartered flight to send his employees to Mangaluru

Mangaluru: A Dubai-based hotelier who hails from Mangaluru has arranged a chartered flight to help his employees return to Mangaluru, Udupi and nearby places. The SpiceJet flight carrying 177 passengers out of whom 105 are staff members of Fortune Group of Hotels is scheduled to fly from Ras Al Khaimah Airport to Mangaluru International Airport on June 1.

Praveen Shetty, chairman of Fortune Group of Hotels and president of Karnataka Non-Resident Indian Forum (KNRI) has seven hotels out of three three are non-operational now due to pandemic while another has been converted into a quarantine facility by the UAE authorities.

On April 13, KNRI had written to Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel to arrange repatriation flights from Dubai to Karnataka to help over one lakh Kannadigas stranded in UAE due to job loss, health issues and others. Though a few repatriation flights were operated to Bengaluru and Mangaluru from UAE, it mostly helped the terminally ill-patients and pregnant women.

Sources said Shetty decided to pay for the travel of his employees as no help was in sight from the Karnataka government. Meanwhile, the Government of India authorised private companies and community groups to allow private aircrafts and chartered operations on international sectors in view of pandemic, to come to the rescue of his employees.

Khaleej Times quoted him saying that he is sending 60 per cent of his hotel staff back home to India on paid leave.

The staff and their family members being repatriated on the chartered flight work for the four hotels that have been temporarily closed now. However, Shetty has not cancelled the visas of any of his staff and is willing to take them back once the pandemic subsidies.
31/05/20 Vincent D'Souza/New Indian Express
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