Friday, July 24, 2020

Over 7.88 lakh Indians have returned under Vande Bharat mission: MEA

New Delhi:  Over 7.88 lakh Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the "Vande Bharat" evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

Under the Phase 4 of the Vande Bharat mission, a total of 1,197 flights have been scheduled so far, including 945 international flights and 252 feeder flights, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.

"These flights are operated by the Air India group, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir. They cover 29 countries. They will be reaching 34 airports in India," he said.

Of these, 694 flights have reached India as on July 22, repatriating nearly one lakh people so far, he said. Phase 4 is expected to continue until August 2, by which time around 80,000 more people are expected to return, Srivastava said.

"As on 22nd July, 7,88,217 Indian nationals have returned. 1,03,976 Indians have returned from Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh by land borders," he said.

Noting that the Ministry of Civil Aviation had announced the establishment of bilateral bubbles with some countries, the MEA spokesperson said that between July 22 and August 31, Air India will be operating 30 flights a week to the US (New York, Chicago, Washington, New Jersey, and San Francisco), four flights a week to Germany (Frankfurt) and three flights a week to France (Paris).

The ministry continues to be in touch with missions on specific demands for repatriation from students completing their courses abroad, workers, and other stranded Indians with compelling reasons, he said.

As regards to repatriation from Kyrgyzstan, Srivastava said India is scheduling additional flights.
23/07/20 PTI/New Indian Express
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