India's commercial passenger airline IndiGo has been authorized to operate 97 flights between India and the Middle East to repatriate stranded Indians in the region. IndiGo has informed that these 97 flights will be operated between Kerala and Saudi Arabia, Doha, Kuwait and Muscat. The official statement released by IndiGo also mentioned that the airline has been granted nearly half of the total 180 repatriation flights allotted to private airlines.
The 97 repatriation flights to the Middle-East will comprise of 36 flights to Saudi Arabia, 28 to Doha, 23 to Kuwait and 10 to Muscat.
Apart from this, the Indian government has also been operating Air India flights under the Vande Bharat Mission to ferry back Indians stranded abroad. The Vande Bharat Mission is currently in the second phase. Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier informed that the Vande Bharat Mission has facilitated the return of 13,000 Indians so far under the first phase.
Meanwhile, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has stated that the airlines had expressed eagerness to support Indian government's repatriation efforts from the Middle-East. In the official statement released on Thursday, Dutta added that IndiGo is grateful for the approval to operate flights to four countries to evacuate Indians who are stranded.
"These special flights offer an opportunity to leverage our network strength in the Middle-East to support the nation at this crucial time. IndiGo will continue to contribute and adapt its business to the needs of the hour," Dutta said.