Under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, India has been successful in bringing back home 1, 25,000 of its people from different countries until now, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on June 24.
“Vande Bharat continues to be a mission of hope and happiness for stranded and distressed Indians around the world. So far, nearly 125K Indians have come back on these evacuation flights and nearly 43K have flown out of India. On June 23, 6,037 people returned from different countries,” Puri said in a tweet.
As many as 2,50,087 Indian nationals stranded abroad have been repatriated since the beginning of Vande Bharat Mission last month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
The government started the mission on May 6 to help stranded people reach their destinations using special repatriation flights.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the next and fourth phase of the mission, which will be conducted between July 4 and 15, Air India will be conducting 170 flights connecting India with Canada, the US, the UK, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Myanmar, Japan, Ukraine and Vietnam, as per the airline’s document.
A total of 38 flights and 32 flights will be operated on Indo-UK and Indo-US routes, respectively, as per the document.
The national carrier will operate 26 flights between India and Saudi Arabia, it added.
Air India is scheduled to operate 495 chartered flights to and from various countries in the third phase, which began on June 10 and it will end on July 4.
The first phase was from May 7 to 16, following which the second phase began.
After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights from May 25 but in a curtailed manner.
Hardeep Singh Puri on June 20 had said that the government will start thinking on resuming scheduled international passenger flights in mid-July, when it expects the domestic air traffic to reach 50-55 per cent of the levels before coronavirus.