Combating coronavirus: Gold jewellery chain repatriates staff from UAE in chartered flight
The group plans to charter more such flights to repatriate around 500 employees and their families from the UAE to various destinations across India.
More than 170 employees and families of jewellery group Malabar Gold & Diamonds have left for India on a chartered flight operated by Air Arabia. The Sharjah-Kozhikode flight on Thursday carried 171 passengers, including 25 children.
"We gave priority to the elderly, team members with pre-existing health concerns, those with families and those who have been terminated or have opted for extended leave to be with their families in India," said Abdul Salam KP, group executive director of Malabar Group.
The group plans to charter more such flights to repatriate around 500 employees and their families from the UAE to various destinations across India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
The group said it planned to open 18 stores in India this year and that it would give priority to "team members terminated from the international operations" to be hired at the stores.
Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, lauded the group's initiative to take responsibility for its employees and their families. "I am happy to see the initiative by Malabar Gold & Diamonds to charter the flight to send back employees and their families to India. I also appreciate the Government of Sharjah and Air Arabia for providing all facilities while maintaining all safety requirements," he said.
"There are several Indians in the UAE who want to go back and I request them to have patience as the Government of India is taking necessary steps to gradually increase the number of flights to go back," he added.
Shamlal Ahamed, managing director of the international operations of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, said: "We wanted to provide a safe and speedy passage to our team members and their families during these difficult circumstances. This was made possible due to the combined efforts and support we received from the team at the Indian Consulate in Dubai. The team from the Sharjah Airport Authority and Air Arabia helped create all the necessary arrangements, including Covid-19 rapid testing at the airport, and make this (flight) possible at such short notice."
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