Vande Bharat mission: The third phase of repatriation to start mid-June

By: |
Updated: May 23, 2020 6:08 PM

Sources have also confirmed that “On Saturday (May 23) onboard a commercial flight several stranded Peruvians will leave from New Delhi and reach Amsterdam from where more Peruvian citizens will join and then they will go onwards to Lima.”

According to Srivastava, “Stringent protocols were followed in repatriating the stranded Indians from various countries. Only the asymptomatic Indians were repatriated and they were tested before boarding and on arrival had to be quarantined.” (Representative Image: AP)According to Srivastava, “Stringent protocols were followed in repatriating the stranded Indians from various countries. Only the asymptomatic Indians were repatriated and they were tested before boarding and on arrival had to be quarantined.” (Representative Image: AP)

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is busy coordinating with all the Indian Missions/Posts to get ready for Phase III of repatriation. This was confirmed by the official spokesperson of the MEA, Anurag Srivastava to Financial Express Online. Responding to a query related to the next phase, he said, “At the end of the ongoing Phase II of repatriation on June 13, the next phase will start. Besides the national carrier, the government is considering the proposal of allowing private airlines to participate in the evacuation mission, too.”

As has been reported by Financial Express Online, since there are not many flights going towards South America due to the long distance and Air India has no flights going that way, “It has now been decided that under the hub-and-spoke model, passengers will be brought from distant destinations to a hub airport. And, Frankfurt has been identified as the hub airport,” according to a source.

Right now, flights are being sent to the neighbourhood countries including Vietnam, Laos, Bangladesh, to the Gulf countries and to the US, the UK and Europe.

Who have been repatriated so far?

From the time India started repatriating its citizens, almost 2.59 lakh from 98 countries have registered to return home. With close coordination between the Ministry of External Affairs, all Indian Missions and Posts, other ministries and government agencies, around 23,475 have already returned so far.

Sharing details with the Financial Express Online, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said, “In the first phase the majority of the returnees included students and blue-collared workers. Out of these 28 per cent (4,883) of them are workers and around 25 per cent (4,196) were students.” Indians have returned from countries in the Persian Gulf, South East Asia, the UK and US.

Also, those Indians who were stranded here in India due to the global lockdown managed to return on the outward bound flights to the US, the UK, and Frankfurt.

According to Srivastava, “Stringent protocols were followed in repatriating the stranded Indians from various countries. Only the asymptomatic Indians were repatriated and they were tested before boarding and on arrival had to be quarantined.”

With the easing of the lockdown within the country, and domestic flights as well feeder flights starting gradually to operate, India has opened its airports to incoming flights of other countries carrying Indian citizens who were stuck in various countries. These were allowed as the national carrier Air India has not been operating to the countries where there is not much traffic and which is not financially viable yet.

Earlier this week, New Delhi allowed a flight from Tehran on Mahan Air carrying 300 Indian pilgrims who were all from Ladakh.

What are other countries doing for their stranded passengers in India?

Earlier this week several countries have started repatriating their citizens on either chartered flights or private airlines. The US, the UK have been repatriating their citizens for some time now.

Since April 8, 59 flights — 15,000 Britishers have gone back home from India. The UK government has organized seven chartered flights to take back another 2,000 stranded travellers.

India has also offered to take back citizens of the countries on outbound flights, provided they have valid visas and documents in order.

Earlier this week, 140 Argentineans who were stranded in India left for Buenos Aires. Brazil has repatriated its citizens on chartered flights. “On some of these flights citizens of other countries from the region have also been given a seat. The idea to help everyone in this difficult time,” a top diplomat told Financial Express Online.

Sources have also confirmed that “On Saturday (May 23) onboard a commercial flight several stranded Peruvians will leave from New Delhi and reach Amsterdam from where more Peruvian citizens will join and then they will go onwards to Lima.”

Citizens from several small countries are trying to connect with other commercial flights to evacuate their stranded citizens here. “Unfortunately, Bolivia has still four citizens who are stranded here. These include a student who is here on ITEC programme, two lady pilgrims and one tourist,” shared a senior diplomat.

Another diplomat has confirmed that “only five travellers from Ecuador who have been stranded in New Delhi due to lockdown managed to leave on a commercial flight on Friday. Forty more are left.”

Even South Africa repatriated around 200 citizens, by a chartered flight on May 22. Due to nationwide lockdown, many South African nationals have not been able to reach Delhi and are stuck in other cities.

The government of South Africa has offered to bring back stranded Indians on the outbound chartered flights from Johannesburg.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1SC gives time till Dec 31 to Centre for granting permanent commission to women officers in Navy
2‘Legs were shaking’ at Pakistan’s top leaders’ meeting as Qureshi pleaded to release Abhinandan
3MSMEs in Coimbatore told to enter defence, aerospace sectors