Dubai: India is set to airlift thousands of its citizens stranded abroad under its “Vande Bharat Mission”. Today, two flights will arrive in Kerala's Cochin and Kozhikode airport.
The two flights from the UAE left for Kerala on Thursday, as part of the biggest ever repatriation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the international travel lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
The first Air India Express flight took off from Abu Dhabi to Kochi, which was followed by a Dubai-Kozhikode flight of the same airline. Meanwhile, Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa, also reached the Maldives to bring back stranded Indian citizens.
The second Air India Express Flight from UAE also left for Kerala. The flight took off from Dubai for Kozhikode with 177 passengers on board. One passenger was added to attend final rites of her mother after one passenger dropped out due to immigration issue, the Consulate General of India, Dubai said in a tweet.
Nearly 15,000 Indians stranded overseas are expected to return on special Air India flights from 12 countries over a week, starting Thursday. The government will operate 64 flights until May 13 and use three Navy ships, as part of Phase I of an evacuation plan, named “Vande Bharat Mission”.
Of the 64 flights, 15 would be to Kerala, 11 each to Delhi and Tamil Nadu, seven each to Maharashtra and Telangana, and the rest to Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.
Source: News Agencies
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