On day 7th of the VandeBharat mission, Air India and Air India Express repatriated over 3000 stranded Indians from Chicago , London, Dhaka, Singapore, Kuwait, Jeddah, Manila, Doha and Dubai.
Indian officials in London helped 327 passengers to board an Air India flight to Ahmedabad. More flights are also planned in the second phase of repatriation beginning on May 17th.
The first flight from Oman landed at Chennai international airport. An Air India Express flight brought back 183 passengers stranded in Muscat. The passengers got out of the plane in small batches and were subjected to thermal scanning to record their body temperature.
The third evacuation flight to Karnataka landed with 177 foreign returnees from Dubai .
“The Air India Express IX 384 Boeing 737-8HG landed safely at the Bajpe airport on the outskirts of Mangaluru at 10.04 p.m., with 177 passengers from Dubai,” an airline official said.
Mangaluru is about 360 km west of Bengaluru in the southern state off the Arabian Sea.
The Dakshina Kannada district administration officials and the A-I subsidiary staff received the returnees on entering the arrival lounge.
“All the passengers were given santizer to wash hands and told to wear the mask all the time and keep physical distancing as per the protocols,” said the official.
As per the standard operating procedure to be observed by all foreign returnees, the passengers were screened and tested to ensure they were asymptomatic and free from the Covid-19 virus.
After completing the formalities, including immigration check and filling the self-declaration form, the returnees were taken in state-run buses in batches for 14-day institutional quarantine in hotels and other places in the coastal city.
Passengers were told to download the mandatory Quarantine app, the Aroygya Sethu app and Apthamitra app before leaving the airport for contact tracing later.
The first evacuation flight to Karnataka from London landed in Bengaluru on early Monday, with 326 returnees, including three infants.
As part of the government’s evacuation programme ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, three more repatriation A-I flights are due to land in Bengaluru from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, San Francisco in the US and Singapore on May 13-15 with over 700 state citizens.
Flight From Manila
Over 230 Indians were repatriated from Manila, Philippines by a special Air India flight under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission which landed here at the IGI Airport on late Tuesday night.
The Centre has initiated the mission – one of the largest initiatives to repatriate Indian nationals, with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, coordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs and state governments.
“Air India, along with its subsidiary Air India Express, are operating a total of 64 flights (42 by Air India & 24 by AI Express) to 12 countries viz. USA, UK Bangladesh, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Philippines, UAE and Malaysia to repatriate 14,800 Indians back in the first phase,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Each and every function in this massive air evacuation mission strictly adheres to the safety and hygiene protocol laid down by the Government and DGCA. MoCA, AAI and Air India leave no stone unturned to prioritise the safety of passengers, the crew and ground handling staff in these sensitive medical evacuation missions,” it added.
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