Vande Bharat Mission: Air India to operate 6 flights from UAE to Kerala during phase II
Dubai: Air India is planning to operate 6 repatriation flights from UAE to Kerala between May 16 and May 22 during the second phase of the Vande Bharat mission of Indian government to bring back citizens stranded abroad amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
On May 17, a flight is scheduled from Abu Dhabi to Kochi which will evacuate 90 pregnant women. On May 18, a flight service will be operated from Abu Dhabi to Thiruvananthapuram. On May 23, there will be three flights – Abu Dhabi to Kannur, Dubai to Kozhikode and Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram.
On May 18, Dubai – Mangaluru, on May 19 Dubai - Delhi and on May 22 Dubai – Hyderabad flights are also scheduled.
As part of first phase, two flights evacuated Indians from UAE on Tuesday to Kannur and Mangaluru. Air India Express flight to Kannur took off from here at 3.05 pm and to Mangaluru at 5.15 pm. Each airplane carried 177 passengers.
All passengers reached 5 hour before the flight departure at the second terminal of Dubai international Airport. COVID-19 rapid test and thermal scanning were carried out. One person tested positive at first, but then tested negative during second time.
Air tickets to those deserving
Air tickets are provided to those deserving and are in absolute need, said Indian Consulate in Dubai. The situation and financial conditions were informed to the Consulate and efforts made to include those in the passenger list and free tickets provided. The Community Welfare Fund and aid from various organisations help with tickets.
No Malayalis have contacted asking for free tickets till date. Mostly people from Hyderabad, Rajasthan and Bihar contacted for help with tickets, said Anoop Anil Devan, who works in the help desk at the Consulate.
The matters are handled in the most transparent way possible. Till now, there have been no external intervention, authorities further said.
Plight of Vijayakumar
Palakkad Kollengode native Vijayakumar, could not find a seat on the flights on Tuesday to have a last look at his wife who passed away the other day due to heart attack. Though efforts were made to accommodate him, all the flights were full of pregnant women, elderly persons and children.
His name has been included in the flight scheduled on May 16, authorities informed.