Vande Bharat Mission: Over 87 percent of stranded Indians brought back till now

Updated on Jul 09, 2020 07:02 PM IST

Vande Bharat Mission was started to bring back stranded Indians from foreign destinations after suspension of regular international flights.

Stranded Indian nationals brought back from the UK under the Vande Bharat Mission.(PTI Photo)
Stranded Indian nationals brought back from the UK under the Vande Bharat Mission.(PTI Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

India has already repatriated over 87 per cent of residents who had registered with Indian missions requesting to be evacuated after restrictions on routine international flights were imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the government said on Thursday.

“As on 8th July 2020, against a total number of 6,61,352 persons who registered their request with our Missions abroad for repatriation to India, over 5,80,000 have returned under this mission,” Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Indian government had launched Vande Bharat Mission, considered to be the world’s largest expatriation exercise to bring back stranded Indians from foreign destinations. The fourth phase of the mission is currently in progress.

“Phase 4 of Vande Bharat Mission is underway. Under this phase, 637 international flights have already been scheduled and these flights would service 29 airports in India,” Srivastava added.

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India’s national carrier Air India and the Air India Express have operated a total of 1,980 flights till date under this programme and carried over 262,275 passengers including 188,218 in bound passengers.

Private carries and chartered flights have brought back the remaining passengers.

On July 9, a total of 10 flights are scheduled to bring back passengers from Dubai, Muscat, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Singapore and Sharjah.

The HT Guide to Coronavirus COVID-19

India suspended all scheduled international passenger flights on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian government started the Vande Bharat Mission on May 6 under which Air India and private Indian carriers have been operating unscheduled repatriation flights for Indians stuck abroad during the pandemic. Foreign carriers have also been conducting unscheduled repatriation flights for their citizens since March 23.

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