Flights from UAE carrying over 350 Indian nationals takes off for Kerala
The two flights from the UAE carrying 177 Indian nationals left for Kerala on Thursday, as India began its biggest ever repatriation exercise to bring back its citizens stranded abroad amidst the international travel lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
The first Air India Express flight took off from Abu Dhabi to Kochi, which was followed by a Dubai-Kozhikode flight of the same airline. Meanwhile, Indian Navy's INS Jalashwa, also reached the Maldives to bring back stranded Indian citizens.
Nearly 15,000 Indians stranded overseas are expected to return on special Air India flights from 12 countries over a week, starting Thursday. The government will operate 64 flights until May 13 and use three Navy ships, as part of Phase I of an evacuation plan, named "Vande Bharat Mission". Of the 64 flights, 15 would be to Kerala, 11 each to Delhi and Tamil Nadu, seven each to Maharashtra and Telangana, and the rest to Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.
(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)