Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said Tuesday that 58 more flights have been added to evacuate stranded Indians from the Gulf countries between now and June 30.
“An additional 58 flights have been added to evacuate stranded and distressed Indian citizens from the Gulf countries between now and June 30, 2020. Starting immediately, the number of flights from the Gulf in phase 3 of the Vande Bharat Mission now it increased from 107 originally planned to 165”, Puri tweeted.
He previously said that India has so far brought almost 70,000 people under the Vande Bharat Mission launched to evacuate Indians from abroad.
More flights to the West
The minister further said that Phase 3 of Vande Bharat Mission will have 80 flights to Europe, including two daily flights to London and two to other European destinations, between now and 30 June.
Moreover, 10 additional flights to the United States and Canada will be flown apart from 70 that have already been announced.
State-run carrier Air India had previously announced that it will operate around 300 flights to Europe, Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK and Africa between June 10 and July 1 during phase 3 of Vande Bharat Mission.
‘Mission of hope’
In an earlier tweet, Hardeep Singh Puri had said that the Vande Bharat Mission, started in early May to repatriate stranded Indians across the globe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “is proving to be a mission of hope for stranded and distressed Indians” around the world.
Phases of vande Bharat Mission
The first phase of the mission saw the repatriation of Indians from more than 11 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the Maldives, Singapore, and the United States.
In the second phase of the mission, the Indian government brought Indians from around 31 countries starting on May 16.
The second phase was to end on May 22. However, the Indian government extended it until June 13, while adding more countries to the list such as Finland, South Korea, Belgium, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Kenya, Mauritius, Spain. , Myanmar, Egypt and Sri Lanka.