Over 20,000 Indians have returned to the country from different parts of the world under the Vande Bharat Mission since its commencement on May 6, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday. He also appreciated the efforts put forth by Air India, Air India Express, and the Ministry of External Affairs in bringing back the citizens on special repatriation flights while the world battles against the COVID-19 crisis.
Hardeep Singh Puri said, as many as 1,674 people returned to India from places like San Francisco, Muscat, Doha, Dubai, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Kuwait, Singapore, and Jeddah on May 21, Thursday. The Minister shared a list of the number of Indians who returned from abroad on the same day.
More than 20,000 people have returned to India on Vande Bharat flights since 6 May.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 21, 2020
1674 people returned from San Francisco, Muscat, Doha, Dubai, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Kuwait, Singapore & Jeddah on 21 May.
Commendable effort by @airindiain, AirIndia Express & @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/efO1vEqFV3
In a major relief for Indians stranded abroad, the Centre had announced that their travel will be arranged via aircraft and naval ships in a phased manner. The first phase of the mission was set for 7 days starting from May 7 to rescue stranded Indians from over 11 countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Maldives, Singapore, and the US.
In the second phase of the mission, the Indian government is bringing back over 32,000 stranded Indians from 31 countries from May 16 to 22. More countries have been added in the second phase including Finland, South Korea, Belgium, New Zealand, Netherlands, Kenya, Mauritius, Spain, Myanmar, Maldives, Egypt, and Sri Lanka.
Further, in order to facilitate the return of stranded Indian nationals in Oman, the Indian government has decided to operate more special flights to Bangalore, Calicut, Delhi, Kannur, Kochi, and Gaya on May 20, 21, 22 and 23. Under the second phase, a total of 149 flights, including feeder flights, are expected to be operated.