Over 8 lakh Indians repatriated under Vande Bharat Mission, says Hardeep Singh Puri; next phase from Aug 1

On Sunday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that more than 8,14,000 Indians stranded abroad were repatriated from May 6 under the Vande Bharat Mission.

Now, Phase 5 of Vande Bharat Mission is slated to begin on August to bring back more stranded Indians from abroad.

He tweeted, "More than 814K stranded Indians have returned through various means under VBM since 6 May 2020, out of which more than 270K returned on flights from 53 countries. Now we prepare to dovetail Phase-4 of VBM into Phase-5 from 1st August 2020 & bring back more Indian citizens."

In a series of tweet, the minister said that the flights will connect India with USA, Canada, UAE, and other countries and more destinations and flights will be added as we enter the phase.

Among other destinations, Ph-5 will connect India with USA, Canada, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Singapore, UK, Frankfurt, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, New Zealand , Philippines & more. Like we did earlier, more destinations & flights will be added as this phase progresses.

In another tweet, Puri said that further details about ticket bookings will be shared by Air India and other airlines shortly.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India.

However, special international charter flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 6 to help stranded people reach their destinations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Various international charter flights, by the foreign airlines as well as the Indian airlines, have been operating outside this mission too.

Meanwhile, scheduled domestic passenger flights started operating from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

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