Kerala

COVID-19 | Stranded European tourists in Kerala to be airlifted today

Stranded foreign tourists from Germany and other European countries at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on March 31, 2020

Stranded foreign tourists from Germany and other European countries at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on March 31, 2020   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Air India to facilitate their return to Frankfurt today

Air India and Kerala Tourism will facilitate the return of 250 foreign tourists stranded in the State following the lockdown to Germany and other countries in the European Union on Tuesday.

The national carrier will operate a Boeing 777 as chartered flight from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport at 9.30 a.m. to evacuate 223 Germans and 27 citizens of Austria, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Greece to Frankfurt.

This is among the five flights to be operated by Air India to Frankfurt on March 31 to evacuate German nationals stranded in the country. The AI aircraft will arrive from Mumbai at 8 a.m. and leave for Mumbai at 9.30 a.m. as chartered flight en route to Frankfurt, airline sources said. The General Administration Department on Monday issued the formal orders to enable the return of the tourists as a 21-day lockdown period was in place in the country. Initially, the plan was to evacuate only the German citizens. Later, the citizens of the European Union countries were added as the ban on international flights is in force till April 14.

The tourists, who were staying in ayurvedic centres, yoga centres and resorts in 11 districts of the State were shifted to the State capital on Monday under the supervision of tourism officials. The tourists were screened and issued the COVID-19 negative certificate.

A high-level team led by Chief Secretary Tom Jose and comprising Secretary, Tourism, Rani George, Airport Director C.V. Ravindran, Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) Aravind Menon and Honorary Consul, Federal Republic of Germany, Syed Ibrahim, is overseeing the arrangements.

The tourists were accommodated at Kerala Tourism Development Corporation’s Mascot Hotel, Samudra at Kovalam and Chaithram at Thampanoor. The rooms and lobby were sanitised and separate teams were posted in the reception and for handling the luggage to prevent crowding.

“We have asked the tourists to remain in their rooms and to make use of the room service. A note prepared in German was also kept in the rooms,” General Manager of Hotel Mascot Dileep Kumar P. said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:04:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/european-tourists-to-be-airlifted-today/article31212185.ece

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