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UAE-India repatriation: 59 flights to be operated in July as Vande Bharat Mission enters Phase 4 Filed on June 27, 2020 | Last updated on June 27, 2020 at 07.13 pm
UAE, India, repatriation, Vande Bharat Mission, covid-19, coronavirus, Kerala, flights

(File photo)

Operations between July 1 and 14 include 39 flights to four airports in Kerala and 20 for the rest of India.

Fifty-nine repatriation flights for stranded Indians in the UAE will be operated in July as the Vande Bharat Mission enters Phase 4. More private chartered flights will also be sanctioned to meet the demand from the Gulf region, the Indian government has said. 

Operations between July 1 and 14 include 39 special flights to four airports in the state of Kerala and 20 for the rest of India. New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the destinations covered apart from Kerala.

However, there are no flights to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha - states where many stranded blue-collar workers are from. None of the private airlines that usually fly to these states have been named in Phase 4.

The lack of special services to these destinations had prompted companies, community leaders and associations to charter flights from the UAE in recent weeks. 

Charters fly home 130,000 since May 26

Until June 25, 530,047 Indians have registered for repatriation with missions around the world and 364,209 nationals were brought home through flights and naval ships.

Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs, noted that in the first three phases, 875 international flights were scheduled for operation from over 50 countries across five continents.

"So far, more than 700 flights have reached India repatriating around 150,000 Indians. The remaining 175 flights under Phase 3 are expected to reach in the coming days," he had said on Thursday.

He noted that since May 26, private chartered flights had brought back more than 130,000 Indians.

"Demand for these flights remains very high especially in the Gulf region and, therefore, we are moving to further streamline the process," he added. 

Ashwani Kumar

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