Kerala

2 lakh Indians in Saudi Arabia seek repatriation

Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will operate 59 flights from UAE, 47 from Bahrain and 16 from Oman to India in the fourth phase of Vande Bharat.

Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will operate 59 flights from UAE, 47 from Bahrain and 16 from Oman to India in the fourth phase of Vande Bharat.   | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR

Fourth phase of Vande Bharat will not touch Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, who are desperately awaiting a return to India have demanded repatriation flights in the fourth phase of Vande Bharat Mission beginning Wednesday.

As per the latest schedule announced by the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), no flights out of the 136 would be operating from these three Gulf Cooperation Council nations. Saudi Arabia is home to the second-largest Indian expatriate community after the United Arab Emirates (UAE). About 2 lakh Indians stranded in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh are seeking repatriation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will operate 59 flights from UAE, 47 from Bahrain and 16 from Oman to India.

Overall 39 flights each from the UAE and Bahrain, 13 from Oman, two from Malaysia and one from Singapore will fly down to four international airports in Kerala.

However, the MEA has clarified that the “dynamic list is bound to undergo changes based on operational, technical and other considerations. The list should not be considered as final and is only for the purpose of information. All visitors are advised to counter-check with Air India for confirmation of the flights, timings, dates, destinations and other details.”

The fourth phase ends on July 14.

Several groups are awaiting clearance for operating charter flights from GCC nations. So there is hope that the Centre would give clearance for flights from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, sources said.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 2:25:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/2-lakh-indians-in-saudi-arabia-seek-repatriation/article31935786.ece

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