To facilitate the safe return of migrant workers stranded in Gulf countries amid COVID-19 outbreak, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy requested External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to arrange direct flights to Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati airports.
Appreciating the Central Government’s 'Vande Bharat Mission', Reddy requested Jaishankar to speak with Kuwait's High Commissioner and arrange for flights to Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, and Tirupati on urgent basis. The Chief Minister assured that the state government has made all arrangements for testing and quarantine for those who return to the state.
As part of the biggest ever offshore evacuation drive of Indian citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission, an Air India flight carrying 331 people stuck in the UK, landed at the international airport here on Tuesday. The national carrier, a Boeing 773 aircraft from the UK arrived at 02.21 AM, airport sources said. Later, the same aircraft departed with 87 passengers to the US via Delhi.
The passengers were serviced through the fully sanitized international arrivals of the main passenger terminal. The airport authorities had fully sanitized and fumigated the international arrivals and the entire stretch right from aerobridge to arrivals ramp.
All the passengers and aircraft crew were brought from the aircraft in a batch of 20-25 people each. Each passenger or crew member was screened by the thermal cameras positioned at the aerobridge exit under as per the directives of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prior to Immigration formalities.
India began phased rescue of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7 under Vande Bharat Mission. In its first phase, Air India and AI express have operated 31 inbound flights that carried 6037 passengers and operated 34 outbound flights that carried 1329 foreign nationals. The second phase of the mission will begin from May 16 to 22, during which 149 flights, including feeder flights, will be operated to repatriate Indians from 31 countries. The government announced to bring back 14,800 Indians on 64 flights.
(With inputs from ANI)