Coronavirus: Vande Bharat Mission Phase 5 to operate 105 flights from UAE to India

Coronavirus, India, UAE, stranded residents, Dubai, Sharjah, Vande Bharat Mission Phase 5

Dubai - A total of 74 flights will operate from Sharjah and Dubai to various cities in India starting August 1 to August 15.



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sun 26 Jul 2020, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Jul 2020, 8:34 AM

India's Vande Bharat Mission shall move into its fifth phase, with 105 repatriation flights set to be operated from the UAE to various cities in India, said officials at the Indian missions in the country.
A total of 74 flights will operate from Sharjah and Dubai to various cities in India starting August 1 to August 15, said Consul Press, Information, and Culture Neeraj Agarwal.
Meanwhile, an official with the Indian Embassy in the UAE has said around 31 special flights will fly from Abu Dhabi to Indian cities between August 1 and 15 as part of Phase 5.
"The formal announcement and online booking details of the special Air India and Air India Express flights will be announced shortly," said Agarwal.
Commenting on the travel agreement between India and UAE to fly stranded residents in India back to the UAE, Agarwal said, "The status quo remains and more clarity will emerge shortly."
Existing travel agreement to continue
India and the UAE had launched a 15-day special agreement to operate flights from July 12 to 26. As per the agreement, Air India and Air India Express flights operating repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission from the UAE to India can fly UAE residents stuck in India back to the UAE on their departure leg of the trip.
Similarly, UAE and private Indian carriers operating flights for repatriating stranded Indians in the UAE can bring back UAE residents stuck in India on the return leg of the trips. "I can confirm that the existing travel arrangement to bring back passengers who have received approvals stipulated by the UAE government will continue for the time being," assured Agarwal.
He added, "People who are desirous of going back to India need not worry as there are ample flights available from UAE and Indian carriers as well as private carriers. The same can be said for passengers wishing to return to the UAE."
The existing travel agreement stipulates that all returning passengers from India must be UAE residence visa holders with ICA or GDRFA approvals and a Covid-19-negative medical certificate. Starting August 1, the Covid-19 test results must be obtained from an ICA- approved laboratory, according to UAE carrier Emirates Airlines. The list of laboratories in India can be accessed on https://screening.purehealth.ae/application 
Vande Bharat Mission Phase 5
Announcing the launch of Phase 5 of Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) India's Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted on Saturday stating over 814,000 passengers have returned to India' through various means'. Over 270,000 have returned on Air India, Air India Express, and private Indian carriers since VBM's commencement on May 6, he said.

He tweeted, "VBM, the mission of hope continues to soar and facilitate inbound and outbound international travel of stranded Indian citizens. I am happy to announce that we are further ramping up VBM and have decided to go ahead with Phase-5 from August 1 to 31 2020. The detailed schedule will be shared soon."
"Stakeholders of our civil aviation sector stand committed to reach out and help stranded Indians. More than 270,00 have returned on VBM flights by @airindiain and @FlyWithIX and private Indian carriers. More than 814K through various means since May 6. People continue to return every day," the Minister said in another tweet.
India's flag carrier Air India also tweeted the launch of the next phase on July 24. It said, "We are launching Phase 5 of VBM from August 1 2020, and have added many more flights to several international destinations."
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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