Coronavirus: thousands of Indians to be repatriated from UAE in July

Elias Hubbard
June 30, 2020

Countries with larger diaspora faced greater challenges making flights available for everyone since tickets sold out relatively quickly.

More than 25,000 stranded Indians have arrived in Mumbai under the Vande Bharat Mission repatriation flights from 30 countries until now, and 36 more flights are expected till Phase IV expected to go on till mid-July.

Between May 7 and early June, about 21,000 Indians were flown home.

Under this phase, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that the national carrier Air India will operate 114 flights, connecting India with Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia.

The news was confirmed by Air India through a tweet.

Air India's chartered flights are scheduled to be operated between July 3 and 15, the aforementioned official document stated.

Last week, UAE residents who were stranded in India were told to expect flights to the emirates in the coming weeks. This was followed by suspension of repatriation flights by Air India from India to the U.S. without the latter's prior permission.

The US Department of Transportation announced on June 22 that it has barred Air India from operating chartered flights between India and the United States from July 22 without its prior approval, in an apparent retaliation for the Indian government not allowing American carriers to operate between the two countries. A formal objection was lodged by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi in late May.

Between May 7 and June 1, Air India group has operated a total of 423 inbound global flights under the mission, bringing 58,867 Indian citizens back to the country. Recently the French government forced an Air India repatriation flight from bringing passengers into France citing the lopsided policy of the Indian government.

Currently, Air India is seeking Dubai's permission to carry on with the repatriation flights given the huge demand for the India-UAE route.

They have been scheduled to travel between July 1 and July 14. The Indian government has extended the suspension of worldwide travel until July 15, so it is likely that there may be a resumption of flights at least between the United States and India within the coming weeks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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