UAE-India repatriation live blog: First 2 flights land in Kerala

Dubai, repatriation, Inida, UAE

Dubai - Several passengers Khaleej Times spoke to said they hope to return to the UAE soon.



By Team KT

Published: Thu 7 May 2020, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Fri 8 May 2020, 8:10 AM

India began the world's largest ever repatriation mission today to bring back citizens stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two flights from UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi) landed tonight in Kerala's Kochi and Kozhikode.
Earlier, the flights from the UAE took off carrying 177 passengers each today. Passengers started arriving at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports as early as 9.30am on Thursday.
Khaleej Times journalists track the historic Vande Bharat Mission live:

Several passengers Khaleej Times spoke to said they hope to return to the UAE soon.


10.05pm
Dr S. Jaishankar, Indian External Affairs Minister, lauded Ambassador to UAE and Dubai Consulate for the successful first two repatriation flights.
9.10pm
The other flight that took off from Dubai landed in Kozhikode tonight.
8.45pm
First flight from Abu Dhabi lands in Kochi.
DRDO has installed Ultra Violet disinfection chamber at the Cochin International Airport in Kerala. The chamber would be used to disinfect the baggage coming at the airport. The chamber has been developed by a laboratory in Cochin.
Ajith Pullanikotti, an IT professional, made it to the flight at the last minute to be able to attend the last rites of his mother who died two days ago. He was the only son.

5.47pm
Air India flight from Dubai to Kozhikode takes off.

5.36pm
Air India Express cabin crew, in PPE gear, welcome passengers on board with hand sanitisers.

4.55pm
Flight from Abu Dhabi to Kochi takes off at 4.55pm UAE time.

4:42pm
Standing a few meters apart, passengers have begun checking into the first special flight from Dubai-Kozhikode, scheduled to take off in 30 minutes.

4:41pm
Consul General of India to Dubai Vipul at the Dubai airport at the boarding point to see off the distressed citizens on the first flight to Kozhikode.

4:39pm
Passengers at the boarding gate ready to board Abu Dhab--Kochi special flight

4:37pm
Boarding started for Dubai-Kozhikode flight

4:33pm
Indians holding Tirangaa as they return back home in a difficult time.

4:23pm
Boarding for Kozhikode from Dubai to start soon.

4:20pm
Flight from Abu Dhabi all set to depart

3:47pm
Indian Ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor speaking to one of the passengers at Abu Dhabi airport.

3:34pm
"It's a great relief. Till now all passengers found negative for rapid antibody test for Covid-19," the Consulate General of India in Dubai tweeted.
3:20pm
Mohammed Riyas and his 84-year-old grandfather PKC Mohammed Haji happily await to board their flight after getting an 'OK to Board' sticker on their passport from the Dubai Health Authorities, following the completion of their IGM/IGG tests. They have also received their boarding passes.
3:00pm
Jessy Xavier, who has worked in the UAE in two stints - Dubai and Abu Dhabi - but now jobless will be back when normalcy returns.
"I have made my life in this land. I had worked in Dubai and now for nine months in Abu Dhabi. However, I lost job and has been asked to go on leave without salary. This is a difficult situation, unseen and unfamiliar to the UAE. We all will come out of this. I will surely be back. I have to. My husband is back in Kerala. I have two children waiting for me back home. I will spend some quality time with them. I am sure things will improve here."

2:50pm
Suresh Kandampully Bhaskaran came to see off his eight-month pregnant wife Chaithanya and two-year-old daughter Anvita.
"My wife will be back after few months. This is just a temporary phase just like the UAE is seeing. My family will be back here with new bundle of joy. And same for the UAE, this country - the safest in the world - will be back in business soon. I am working here for 14 years now. I have a stable job. We all are indebted to this country and its leadership," Suresh told Khaleej Times.

2:50pm
Preparations for Vande Bharat Mission for the Abu Dhabi Kochi special flight IX452 with medical screening and IgM/IgG test of passengers.

2:48pm
Indian nationals, all from Kerala, who are being brought back from Abu Dhabi under Vande Bharat Mission, express their gratitude towards Indian Embassy in UAE.
2:39pm
Illiyas Jaleel, an engineer, who lost his job recently, and is returning for good. "I worked here for five years. I had some good moments. I am not done with this place yet. My ticket just got confirmed. I will be back," he said.

2:29pm
Neighbours Shaheen Shafana and Parveena are pregnant and will be among the first batch of Indians to fly out of Dubai.
"It is a great relief. I am 30 weeks pregnant and due on July 12," said Shafana. Her husband Azeen, who is at the airport to see his wife off, said they decided to take the repatriation flight because Shafana is still fit to travel. "We are really excited. This is our first baby. But I am working and unable to take care of her."
Her friend Parveena who stays in the same residential complex said they decided to fly home together. "It is a bit risky. But it is worth it as we prefer to be with our families before the delivery," said Parveena.

2:25pm
Lamees Latheef, a mother who is six months pregnant, is all set to fly to her hometown in Kozhikode. She will be traveling with her six-year-old son Syed Sahal. Her husband Syed Shamail said, "Only my wife and kid are travelling at the moment. She is facing some complications in her delivery and has a chance of early delivery. We got the ticket yesterday."



2:15pm
Arun George who is sending his pregnant wife Susiya Sebastian and their kid on the first flight to Kozhikode said he is stressed over the fact that he has to send them alone, but the couple say they have no choice.
"Without a medical insurance, it is impossible to deliver our baby in the UAE. Luckily, in Kerala, we don't have to stay in an institutional quarantine. I know we will be safer in Kerala," said Susiya.

1:39pm
I'm very happy that this is happening during the Holy Month of Ramadan:Vipul
"I'm very happy that today we have this flight from Dubai to Kozhikode. This is the first flight which is going after so long from Dubai to India. It's a mix of people who are going in the 177 seats we have on this flight. We have elderly people, workers who have lost their jobs, pregnant ladies, a lot of people who have medical conditions," Consul General of India to Dubai Vipul told Khaleej Times.
"With the pandemic situation, it was pretty bad for people, but there was no other choice but for the lockdown and flights were not there. But now from today, it's happening. More people are going back to India from today. And I'm very happy that this is happening during the Holy Month of Ramadan and also a day when it's celebrated as --- so, an auspicious day on which people are starting to return to India."
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12:59pm
Second Airi India Express flight took off from Kerala

12:57pm
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12:45pm


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