Air India has opened bookings for the second phase of 149 repatriation flights under the government’s Vande Bharat Mission to bring back Indians stranded in 31 countries from May 16.
The second phase will have more than double the 64 flights to be operated during that first phase that will end on May 15. More than 8,000 Indians have been flown back so far in the first phase, mainly from West Asia, in flights operated by Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted on Wednesday, “Mission Vande Bharat continues to fly high with flights that spread hope and happiness. 2171 Indians have returned on-board 11 flights from Bahrain, Newark, Manila, Dubai, Muscat, Singapore, Dhaka, Dammam and Kuala Lumpur till midnight 12th May 2020.”
The airline will be operating to more than 30 destinations in the second phase.
Air India tweeted: “FlyAI: Reservation for travel from India to select destinations in USA, UK, Australia & to Frankfurt, Paris & Singapore will commence from 1700 hrs on 14th May 20 on https://t.co/T1SVjRluZv You may also call on 01242641407/ 02026231407/ 18602331407 or do a live chat via our website.”
People familiar with developments said most of the departing flights will take off from Delhi. These include flights to San Francisco, Moscow, Frankfurt, Paris, Chicago, Singapore, Washington, Narita, Riyadh, London, Vancouver, Melbourne, Jeddah, Dammam, Sydney, Toronto, Abu Dhabi, Dhaka, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu, Rome, Muscat, Cebu, Tbilisi and Rome.
Indians stranded in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh, Dammam, Abu Dhabi, Jakarta, San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta, Moscow, Frankfurt, Chicago, Kyiv, Almaty, Yerevan, Dushanbe, Bishkek, Karaganda, Paris and Birmingham will return to the country between May 18 and June 3.
Most of the flights will land at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. The second phase will also see the use of more feeder flights at the destination countries and within India.