A government body dealing with the pandemic said the monthlong travel restrictions would start from Saturday and aim to prevent the spread into the country of coronavirus strains from other countries which are believed to be more contagious.
"It is not just a mission that brought back stranded and distressed citizens from around the world, but Vande Bharat has been a mission of hope and happiness, of letting people know that they will not be left behind even in the most testing times," Puri said.
The latest phase of these repatriation flights, known as the "Vande Bharat Mission," began on March 1 and will last till March 28. Slightly more than 1,350 international flights are scheduled to be operated from 28 countries in this phase, enabling an estimated 260,000 Indians to travel home.
During lockdown in 2020, SereneAir was the only Pakistan registered air carrier that not only operated to its capacity but also flew special charter flights to Dhaka, Kabul, Nanjing and UAE carrying personal protection equipment for the COVID-19 and stranded overseas Pakistani from the UAE.
Even as India extended the ban on regular, scheduled international air travel until Oct.31, the Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said he expected international flights to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2021.
A charter from the Spanish carrier Wamos Air is scheduled from Islamabad to London Stansted. The last seats were being sold at around 300,000 rupees – over £1,400 one way.
More than half of the world’s airline pilots are no longer flying for a living amid the plunge in demand during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey, and those that are still flying feel less valued by their employers.
The authority said that it would resume scheduled and unscheduled flights between the two countries in coordination with the civil aviation authorities and national airlines in the UAE.
Air Arabia’s flights to Cairo and Lahore from Ras Al Khaimah will resume operations from October 15th while flights to Peshawar from October 16th; and to Islamabad from October 17th.
It was not immediately clear which routes and air carriers would be affected. The NCOC added the decision would be reviewed on May 18. Inbound air traffic will operate at 20% of the total current quantum, while there is no change in the existing Category C list countries.