Kerala

Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar in Vande Bharat phase 4

Initially flights from these nations were excluded

Following popular demand, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has added more flights in the fourth phase of the Vande Bharat Mission beginning Wednesday by including destinations from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.

Initially, flights from these three Gulf Cooperation Council nations were excluded in the fourth phase. Instead, priority was given to three others - the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.

Now, the new list will benefit thousands of expatriates waiting to return to India following the COVID-19-induced air travel restrictions. About two lakh Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait have been desperately waiting for a positive response from the Centre, sources said. The MEA has announced a list of 566 flights from various destinations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Australia, Canada, and Kenya. Also, private airlines will play a major role in the fourth phase of Vande Bharat. In the earlier three phases, only Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express operated flights to different countries to bring back stranded Indians.

Indigo will operate 192 flights from Qatar while Goair will operate 41 from Kuwait to various States. Air India and Spicejet will operate 16 flights from Saudi Arabia.

The MEA has said “this is a dynamic list and is bound to undergo changes based on operational, technical and other considerations. The list should not be considered as final”.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 11:39:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/saudi-kuwait-qatar-in-vande-bharat-phase-4/article31958183.ece

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