153 Kashmiris repatriated from Dubai on Air India flight
An Air India flight repatriated 153 Kashmiris from Dubai on Thursday, the Consulate General of India in Dubai revealed
The consulate said on Twitter, "AI1196 from Dubai to Srinagar carrying 153 passengers including pregnant women, senior citizens, stranded visitors landed at Srinagar airport few hours ago. Happy to assist.”
Indian Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said, “58 more flights added to evacuate stranded and distressed Indian citizens from Gulf countries between now and 30th June 2020.
“Starting immediately, number of flights from Gulf under phase-3 of Vande Bharat Mission now increased from originally planned 107 to 165.”
The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back Indians stranded overseas due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown got underway on Thursday and will continue till July 2.
"I would like to announce that the Phase III of Vande Bharat Mission has been initiated from today onwards. It will last till July 2. Phase III will have 432 international flights from 43 countries reaching 17 states and UTs. In this phase, we also have 29 flights from private carriers -- 24 IndiGo (GCC, Malaysia); 3 GoAir (GCC) and 2 Vistara (Singapore). Ramping up our operations in Africa, we have arranged flights from six countries in Africa.
"The number of flights from the US and Canada have also been increased given the huge demand. There are 53 flights from the US and 24 flights from Canada. We would also have 16 flights each from Paris and Frankfurt which are to be used as hubs in Europe. There are 170 flights from GCC countries," said the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
A total of 1,65,375 Indians stranded abroad have returned to the country as part of the Vande Bharat Mission till Thursday, according to the MEA spokesperson.