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In the second leg of Vande Bharat Mission, Air India may fly to 31 countries

In total, Air India and its unit Air India Express may operate 149 flights in the second leg - more than twice of the 64 flights that were flown in the first part of the repatriation exercise.

May 12, 2020 / 11:53 PM IST
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Indonesia, Nigeria, Ireland and Russia. These are some of the countries that Air India will fly to in the second leg of Vande Bharat Mission.

Interestingly, the national airline doesn't have commercial flights to these countries.

In total, Air India and its unit Air India Express may operate 149 flights in the second leg - more than twice of the 64 flights that were flown in the first part of the repatriation exercise.

These Indians were stranded after a nation-wide lockdown was announced in March, and domestic and international flights were suspended.

In total, the two airlines will fly to 31 countries, again more than twice the number in the first phase. The highest number of services will be deployed to cities in the US, which will see 13 flights from India. Other countries include Canada, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Georgia.

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The second phase will begin from May 16, and may last a week, executives from the industry said.

In the first phase, which is on at the moment, about 15,000 Indians will come back to India. In total, about 1.9 lakh Indians have registered in their local consulates to get back home.

Also Read | Repatriation flights to India: Track daily updates

These flights will also fly non-resident Indians who are stuck here.

Among the states, Kerala will have 31 flights, followed by Delhi with 22 and Karnataka with 17. Interestingly, Mumbai has just one flight, to Japan.

It is not yet known if private airlines will be part of the exercise, even though Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had mentioned that these carriers would be involved as the numbers ramp up.

The government had also pointed out that passengers will have to pay for the tickets.

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Prince Mathews Thomas heads the corporate bureau of Moneycontrol. He has been covering the business world for 16 years, having worked in The Hindu Business Line, Forbes India, Dow Jones Newswires, The Economic Times, Business Standard and The Week. A Chevening scholar, Prince has also authored The Consolidators, a book on second generation entrepreneurs.
first published: May 12, 2020 10:30 pm

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