Monday, September 21, 2020

Air India special flight ‘rescues’ stranded Indians and Cambodians amid pandemic

An Air India flight arrived in Cambodia yesterday, as part of the “Mission Vande Bharat” by the Indian government, after rescuing stranded Cambodians in India and evacuated Indians who were stranded in Cambodia due to COVID-19.

According to the Indian embassy in Cambodia, approximately 50 Cambodians arrived back in the country on flight AI–1305 yesterday and have been taken for mandatory 14-day quarantine in two different hotels.

Aadarsh Kumar Mishra, Head Chancellor at the Indian Embassy said: “145 passengers, including the Indian Ambassador are going back on this flight. Most of them have not done the COVID-19 test and they will have to get it done at Delhi Airport. Today [yesterday] we have 145 passengers. And we will propose another rescue flight next month.”

“The cases in India are increasing but people want to go back to their home country as we know this pandemic will continue until a vaccine arrives. This flight is only for stranded Indians and people who have business visas. We are not encouraging tourists yet,” Mishra added.

“Air India follows the Standard Operating Procedure provided by the Ministry of Health. The actual capacity of this particular flight is around 160 passengers, but they have reserved few seats for medical emergencies as per the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Civil Aviation’s guidelines,” he added.

Despite having the opportunity to head home, there were some grouses that the ticket prices were too high.

21/09/20 Pamela Corda/Khmer Times 

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