India announces plan for 270 repatriation flights - GulfToday

India announces plan for 270 repatriation flights


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India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation announced a packed schedule of 270 repatriation flights out of the UAE commencing on Oct.1 to bring back its citizens who wish to return home to face disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry said its new schedule, which will run until Oct.25, constitutes the seventh phase of its repatriation mission, known as Vande Bharat. The state-owned budget airline, Air India Express will operate these flights. They may be supplemented later, if needed, by other Indian carriers, it added.

These flights will depart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, bound, in many instances for multiple domestic destinations in India.

The seventh phase of the repatriation mission covers a number of new Indian airports. This will mean Indians in the UAE can directly reach their final destination without having to take a connecting flight or transit at other airports.

The schedule announced also includes flights to bring back Indians from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In Oman, the flights will operate from both Muscat and Salalah airports. From Saudi Arabia, the airports of origin are Dammam and Riyadh.

In the reverse direction, 269 flights will be operated to the UAE from Indian cities by Air India Express during 24 days from Oct.1. These flights will take back Indians who live and work in the UAE.

India’s confirmed coronavirus tally reached 6 million on Monday, keeping the country second to the United States in number of reported cases.

The Health Ministry reported 82,170 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, driving the overall total to 6,074,703. At least 1,039 deaths were recorded in the same period, taking total fatalities up to 95,542.

New infections in India are currently being reported faster than anywhere else in the world. The world’s second-most populous country is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country in coming weeks, surpassing the U.S., where more than 7.1 million infections have been reported.

In the past week, nearly one in every three new infections reported in the world and one in every five reported coronavirus deaths were in India, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. While most of India’s deaths remain concentrated in its large cities, smaller urban centers across the country’s vast landscape are also reporting a surge in infections.

Yet even as infections mount, India has the highest number of recovered patients in the world.


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