Wednesday, May 06, 2020

First flight bringing back stranded Indians from UAE to reach Kerala on May 7 amid coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

Amid coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown, the first flight bringing back Indians stranded in foreign countries will land in Kerala on Thursday (May 7). In one of the country`s biggest evacuations during the coronavirus outbreak, a flight carrying 175 stranded Indians will land in Kochi, Kerala from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 9.40 pm. The Air India Express flight will leave UAE at 4.15 (local time).

A second Air India Express flight carrying 175 stranded Indians will leave from Dubai at 5 pm on Thursday (May 7) and arrive in Kozhikode in Kerala at 10.30 pm.

Two other flights, carrying 200 passengers each, is also scheduled to land in Kerala on May 7. A flight from Saudi Arabia's Riyadh and another from Qatar's Doha are scheduled to reach Kozhikode and Kochi respectively.

Amid coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown, the Centre on May 5 said that it will operate at least 64 flights between May 7-13 to bring back thousands of Indians stranded in foreign countries. “64 flights will be operated from May 7 to May 13 to bring back stranded Indians from abroad,’’ Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said.

Over 14,000 people will be brought back from countries including the UK, the US, UAE, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangladesh. In the first week, Air India will be conducting all the flights, the Aviation Minister said adding that private airlines will be considered going forward.

Puri had said that the Indians stranded abroad will be charged for flights bringing them home. The minister said, the rates fixed for the journey from London to Mumbai is Rs 50,000. Similarly for those who are returning from London to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Delhi will also pay Rs 50,000 for the journey. "For Chicago-Delhi-Hyderabad the rough cost will be about Rs 1 lakh. For Dhaka-Delhi flight, the rough cost will be Rs 12,000," he had said.

06/05/20 Ananya Das/ZeeNews
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