Man’s long wait to meet wife, newborn in Saudi
Aamir Ali has still been unable to get a ticket to fly back to his wife and newborn and will now have to attempt to get a seat in phase five of repatriation flights.Updated: Jul 06, 2020 00:14 IST
Aamir Ali’s son was born last month in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, but he is yet to meet him in person. Ali had come to Mumbai in February for his mother’s heart treatment and was forced to extend his stay after international flight operations were put on hold during the Covid-19 lockdown.
He has still been unable to get a ticket to fly back to his wife and newborn and will now have to attempt to get a seat in phase five of repatriation flights.
Ali, a business executive, was unable to book a seat on any of the 11 flights as they were sold out within minutes after the government announced the list of repatriation flights as part of Vande Bharat Mission (VBM).
Ali, his mother, father, and brother landed in Mumbai on February 8 for the mother’s heart valve replacement surgery. They had to stay in the city till March to attend follow-up visits with her doctor. Their trip got extended further due to the lockdown and now, Ali is desperate for a way back to his family.
“My wife was nearly six months pregnant at the time when the doctors in Saudi informed us about the need for surgery [for my mother] and hence, she stayed back,” said Ali.
The government announced repatriation flights to Saudi (Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh) in the fourth phase of VBM from July 3. However, by the time Ali decided to book his ticket, seats on all 11 flights were sold out.
“Bookings for Saudi were full within hours of the routes being open,” said an Air India official.
36 new India-US flights
Air India on Sunday announced that it will operate 36 new flights between India and the USA from July 11 to 19 under the Vande Bharat Mission, bookings for which will open from July 6, 8pm (IST).