Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that Air India and its subsidiary Air Indian Express will operate flights to 32 countries between May 16 and May 22. The flights are scheduled to run under 'Vande Bharat' air repatriation operations and are expected to bring back 30,000 Indians from 31 countries on 149 flights, news agency PTI reported.
Thirty one flights are expected to land in Kerala, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Karnataka, 16 in Telangana, 14 in Gujarat, 12 in Rajasthan, nine in Andhra Pradesh, seven in Punjab, six each in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, three in Odisha, two in Chandigarh, and one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Jaipur, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh.
State-run Air India's flight to Chennai with 158 Indians on-board took off from Dhaka at 11:20 AM on Thursday. "With the take off of @airindiain to #Chennai with 158 Indian Citizens, Phase 1 of #VandeBharatMission from #Dhaka has been accomplished. We thank #TeamIndia & all our citizens for cooperating with us," the High Commission of India in Bangladesh tweeted.
On Wednesday, the first repatriation flight to Mangaluru from Dubai with 177 passengers landed at the international airport in the city. The passengers, including 88 men, 84 women, five children and two infants arrived by the Air India Express flight IX 384 late Tuesday night. There were 12 medical emergency cases and 38 pregnant women among them, the reports said.
Meanwhile, India has been under lockdown since March 25 to fight the spread of novel coronavirus which has affected over 74,200 people and killed around 2,400 people so far.