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    More evacuation flights under Vande Bharat soon: Hardeep Singh Puri

    Synopsis

    “We are going to severely ramp up flights under Vande Bharat to bring back Indians from Gulf countries, Malaysia, Singapore and other parts of the world.” “While Air India is operating flights under Vande Bharat, various international airlines from across the globe have operated charter flights and brough in about 200,000 Indians from across the world", Aviation minister said.

    PTI
    NEW DELHI: Indians still stuck in foreign land and want to return to the country will soon have options to return home, as the government has announced to further ramp up Vande Bharat flights in the coming days.

    “We are going to severely ramp up flights under Vande Bharat to bring back Indians from Gulf countries, Malaysia, Singapore and other parts of the world,” Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at a webinar organised by GMR.

    The Vande Bharat flights, announced and planned by the Indian government and operated by Air India, is in its third phase and already brought back about 90,000 Indians stuck in various countries and also taken about 25,000 Indians from India to various parts of the world.

    Puri also took on the criticism from various quarters that the Vande Bharat mission is a government’s attempt to support Air India.

    “While Air India is operating flights under Vande Bharat, various international airlines from across the globe have operated charter flights and brough in about 200,000 Indians from across the world. So, the whole criticism that only Air India is bringing passengers…,” Puri said.

    He further said that among the international airlines Qatar has operated 81 evacuation flights, KLM has operated 68 flights, Kuwait Airways has operated 41 flights, British Airways has operated 38 flights.

    “There is a long list of airlines, who have been operating these flights and bringing back Indians, which are allowed. We have also asked our Indian private carriers to operate such evacuation flights and they have done a great job,” Puri said.

    Puri also said that he would want international flights to restart soon but that will depend on a lot of factors that include how the virus behave and the rules for travel by various countries.

    SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh said during the webinar that they expect flight operations to ramp up to 40% of the pre-COVID level but all of it will depend on how states behave.

    “We would like to ramp-up but the state governments need to let flight operations happen. If a state brings restrictions in terms of lockdown it works against expanding flight operations,” said Singh.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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    3 Comments on this Story

    Mohamed Shabib100 days ago
    Scammers these aviation ministry is.. refund of flights booked during lockdown period are not refunded at all till now. and that too they blame the person who has booked the ticket and deducted almost 30% of ticket.
    Sushil Srivastava100 days ago
    for a change, Comments to be realistic and not politically motivated.
    saikrishna rayan100 days ago
    Mr puri I would like to know how many flights have come to Mumbai from uae . ?? You are saying so many of them of have come . Please don’t spread false news .. please if Indian govt really wants to help stranded Indians please do it ASAP because it’s already 3 months now that we are stuck without jobs or money . And also top of that uae is charging penanlity for visa . In which we are not even in fault . For the same also Indian embassy is not doing anything .
    The Economic Times