Saturday, June 20, 2020

An exclusive flight for expats from a panchayat

Kozhikode: A chartered repatriation flight from the UAE, which landed at Karipur airport on Friday night, turned out to be unique as it was the first instance of expats from a panchayat chartering their own flight to reach home. The flight was chartered by ‘Oruma Kalpakanchery’, a collective of around 4,000 expats in the UAE from Kalpakanchery panchayat in Malappuram. Of the 183 passengers who arrived in the chartered SpiceJet flight, 102 were from the panchayat and the rest from nearby areas.
Chief patron of Oruma Kalpakanchery A P Shamsudheen bin Mohidheen said that the collective chartered the flight to ensure that expats from the panchayat, who were stranded in the UAE during the pandemic, could safely reach home.
"The collective became more active (in community service) ever since Covid began and has been providing various services including food and quarantine facilities to expats from the panchayat in UAE. We have made available quarantine facilities to those who tested positive. The initiative to charter flight for expats from the panchayat was taken up as there were a lot of people who were desperate to fly home and couldn’t get Vande Bharat flight tickets," he said.
He said that the ticket fare was AED 1,100 and 10% of the passengers were provided free tickets. "Also, we gave preference to priority groups and 88 passengers were women. Also 40% passengers faced visa cancellation, 20% lost jobs and 30% had medical issues," he added.
President K Moideenkutty said the panchayat has made arrangements to ensure quarantine facilities for the 102 passengers.
20/06/20 Times of India
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