Vande Bharat Mission has repatriated over 60 lakh people: Union Civil Aviation Minister
Vande Bharat Mission began with 64 flights on May 6, 2020 to facilitate the repatriation of Indians stranded in other countries
Beginning as an initiative to reach out to Indian citizens around the world, the Vande Bharat Mission has so far facilitated repatriation and international travel of 60.4 lakh people since 6 May last year. The mission is now in its 8th phase.
“We began Vande Bharat Mission to reach out to our citizens around the world & have so far facilitated repatriation and international travel of more than 60.4 lakh people since 6 May 2020. 27 air bubbles are operational. Negotiations are on for more. The mission continues,” said Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a tweet late on Tuesday night.
On 2 March alone, 6,693 people returned from flights from all around the world, he said.
Puri had earlier tweeted, “Vande Bharat Mission began with 64 flights & about 12,800 passengers on 6 May 2020. Since then we have facilitated repatriation & International travel of more than 6 million people. The mission, now in its 8th Phase, continues ahead.”
Earlier, continuing with India’s signing of air bubble agreements, Seychelles and Uzbekistan completed the list of 27 countries that New Delhi has entered into air bubble agreements.
‘Transport bubbles’ or ‘air travel arrangements’ are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services while regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reciprocal in nature, meaning airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits.
The countries with which India has bilateral air bubble agreements include the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan. India has similar pacts with neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Maldives.