75 more flights to US, Canada in Vande Bharat Phase 3
National carrier Air India will open bookings from 5 pm on June 5 for 75 additional flights to destinations in the US and Canada under phase 3 of the Vande Bharat Mission, civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri announced on Wednesday.
These flights will be scheduled between June 9 and June 30 to cities including New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto.
“Those who wish to travel to US and Canada and fulfil required entry conditions can book themselves on these outbound flights. Some foreign airlines have already carried out evacuation flights and are planning to operate more flights. These flights will also take foreign nationals,” Puri tweeted.
More than 57,000 citizens have returned to India on flights being operated under Vande Bharat since May 6, Puri said. On Wednesdsy 2,865 Indians return on flights from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Doha, Bahrain, Dammam, Lagos, Bishkek, Muscat, Moscow and Jeddah.
India is only allowing international repatriation flights; regular passenger flights have been suspended since March 22 because of the coronavirus disease pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Puri said regular international flights may take a while to resume.
“Normal International civil aviation operations will only start when they can. Right now most of our metro cities are under some form of restrictions due to which people from other cities cannot travel to catch flights and we also have requirement for mandatory quarantine on arrival,” he said.
“We have to wait for the domestic operations to touch about 50-60% and consider the behaviour of the virus & its spread to fully lift these restrictions and lockdown. Till then flights under Vande Bharat Mission are facilitating both inbound and outbound international passengers,” Puri added.