Sunday, July 26, 2020

Indian nationals stranded in South Africa by COVID-19 lockdowns overjoyed at cheaper repatriation flight

Nearly 200 Indian nationals, who have been stranded in South Africa for over four months due to COVID-19 lockdown, are overjoyed at heading home at a much lower cost than compatriots who returned on earlier flights.

The flight will depart from here on Sunday evening.

India Club, a South African socio-cultural association of mainly Indian expatriates, arranged the third such flight in association with Emirates Airlines, which subsidised the overall cost per economy seat to 11,500 Rand, as compared to the 17,750 rands on the earlier flights.

About 80 passengers will fly on to destinations in south India and the rest will head for their homes in central and north India.

There were earlier three Vande Bharat flights arranged by the Indian High Commission and its Consulate in Johannesburg, resulting in almost all Indian nationals in the country now being repatriated.

"After the special Emirates flight that India Club had arranged from Johannesburg to Bengaluru earlier this month, we started getting more requests from stranded Indians to arrange another special flight," said Prashant Siddapur, General Secretary of India Club.

"Our dedicated team of volunteers, as usual, put their hands up without hesitation."

"Our flagship annual event is the 'India Day Festival', around August 15, which cannot take place this year because of the COVID-19 restrictions, so arranging these repatriation flights for stranded Indians and seeing the joy on people's faces, has given our team immense satisfaction in another way," he said.
26/07/20 New Indian Express
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