Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
More than 60,000 Indians have been repatriated through flights operated by Air India or chartered flights of other airlines under the Vande Bharat Mission launched on May 7 to repatriate Indians stranded in the UAE due to Covid-19 situation.
More than 200 chartered flights have been facilitated by the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, and the Consulate General of India, Dubai, under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Government of India.
Now, the Government of India has stipulated new guidelines to operate chartered flights According to the new guidelines, airlines providing charter services are responsible to coordinate with various state governments of India on Covid-19 testing, quarantine and flight scheduling requirements. Ever since charter flights were allowed for repatriation, India’s Ministry of External Affairs was coordinating these with state governments through the Indian missions.
According to the Consulate General of India, Dubai, chartered flights from Thursday onwards will be operated under the new Standard Operating Procedures to repatriate Indians from the UAE
As per the new guidelines, the chartering entities will have to choose an Air Transport Operator (ATO) on their own.
The ATOs will have to send the Indian state, where the destination airport is located, their flight plans, State clearance forms and passenger manifests directly, with a copy to the Indian Embassy or Consulate in the UAE While the Embassy or Consulate will vet the passenger manifest, the ATO simultaneously should proceed to get State Clearance for the flight directly in writing.
Once the state clearance is in hand, the ATO will need to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the manifest from the Embassy or the Consulate, followed by application for DGCA flight clearance.
States and ATOs manage flight schedule, frequency with regard to all arriving passengers. They should also coordinate with each other where chartered flights have mixed domicile passengers. If required, chartering entities will need to finalise quarantine arrangements directly with the States.
The first wave of a massive exercise to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Indians stuck abroad began Thursday, with two flights departing from the United Arab Emirates.
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan inaugurated the first-ever Upskilling and Training Centre for Indian blue-collar workers in the UAE at Delhi Private School (DPS), Jebel Ali, Dubai, on Wednesday.
Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan launched the PBSK mobile app in Dubai on Thursday. The app, developed by the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK), will help distressed Indian expatriates in the UAE to reach the PBSK for help.
"In southern Khartoum we are living in terror of violent bombardment, the sound of anti-aircraft guns and power cuts," said 34-year-old resident Sara Hassan by phone. "We are in real hell."
The death toll from Friday's crash was revised down from 288 after it was found that some bodies had been counted twice, said Pradeep Jena. The tally was unlikely to rise, he told reporters. "Now the rescue operation is complete."
The projects, whose progress Sheikh Ahmed reviewed, are part of the first two phases of the Hatta Master Development Plan launched under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the follow up of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.