Dubai, Jul 9: The Government of India has announced an additional 104 special repatriation flights from the UAE to India as part of the Vande Bharat Mission, Phase 4 from July 15 - 31.
According to a flight schedule listed on the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) website, national carriers Air India and Air India Express flights have been scheduled to various cities in 10 Indian states. Each flight has a capacity of 177 passengers.
Vande Bharat Phase 4 officially began on July 3, and in an earlier press briefing Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs had said 'Phase 4 will focus on repatriation of Gulf-based Indians.
The new additional flights have been organised to cities in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan, according to the MEA schedule. To the joy of expats from Maharashtra, at least seven flights have been planned to Mumbai, which has been a less serviced state since the start of the Vande Bharat Mission.
Consul Press, Information, and Culture, Consulate General of India in Dubai Neeraj Agarwal said, "Approximately 100 repatriation flights are planned for the next 23 days, including 50 from Dubai and Sharjah each. If all flights are full, we are looking to evacuate anything between 17,000 to 18,000 passengers in the coming days."
Booking for the newly announced flights will open soon, said Agarwal. "Some of them are already open, and others will be open in the next few days. However, a few flights are subject to slot approvals," he explained.
Commenting on the possibility of flights from India to the UAE, Agarwal said, "We express hope that this too will happen soon." The flight schedule can be seen here: https://www.mea.gov.in/phase-4.htm