Friday, March 05, 2021

India allots 68% of repatriation flights to GCC in new schedule

New Delhi: The biggest slice of the ongoing phase of repatriation flights for Indians affected by coronavirus disruptions worldwide has been set apart for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Anurag Srivastava, the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said here on Friday.

The latest phase of these repatriation flights, known as the "Vande Bharat Mission," (VBM) began on March 1 and will last till March 28. Slightly more than 1,350 international flights are scheduled to be operated from 28 countries in this phase, enabling an estimated 260,000 Indians to travel home.

Of these, nearly 920 flights accounting for 68 percent of the total are from GCC countries, Srivastava said. Until yesterday, about 6.15 million Indians from all over the world have been repatriated, a large bulk of them owing to coronavirus disruptions since the VBM flights began on 7th May last year.

Repatriation under the VBM is made up of Indian government-owned carriers, Indian private airlines, foreign carriers, chartered flights, naval ships, and land border crossings. Srivastava said India presently has bilateral air bubble arrangements with 27 countries including five GCC states.

05/03/21 Saudi Gazette

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