Vande Bharat Mission Phase 4: Air India to operate 170 flights to and from 17 countries

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The Vande Bharat Mission Phase 4 will start from July 3 and the national carrier Air India will operate 170 repatriation flights to and from 17 countries.

The government of India has started the Vande Bharat Mission on May 6 to help the stranded people reach their destinations using special repatriation flights.

Scheduled international passenger flights are suspended in India since March 23 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the fourth phase of the mission, Air India will operate 170 flights connecting India with Canada, the US, the UK, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Myanmar, Japan, Ukraine, and Vietnam, as per the airline’s schedule.

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These 170 chartered flights under the fourth phase are scheduled to be operated between July 3 and 15, it stated.

A total of 38 flights and 32 flights will be operated on Indo-UK and Indo-US routes, respectively, as per the document.

The national carrier will operate 26 flights between India and Saudi Arabia, it added.

Air India is scheduled to operate 495 chartered flights to and from various countries within the third phase, which began on June 10 and it’ll end on July 4.

The first phase was from May 7 to 16, following which the second phase began.

The US Department of Transportation announced on June 22 that it’s barred Air India from operating chartered flights between India and the US from July 22 without its prior approval, in apparent retaliation for the Indian government not allowing American carriers to operate between the two countries.

Therefore, on June 23, the Aviation Ministry had said that it had been considering establishing “individual bilateral bubbles” with the US, the UK, Germany, and France allowing airlines of every country in the pact to operate international passenger flights.

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After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the govt resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights from May 25 but in a curtailed manner and by placing lower and upper limits on airfares depending upon the flight duration.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on June 20 said that the govt will start thinking about resuming scheduled international passenger flights in mid-July when it expects the domestic traffic to achieve 50-55 percent of the levels before coronavirus.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said last Friday it’s extending the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights in the country till July 15 but added that some international scheduled services on selected routes may be permitted on a case-to-case basis.

(With Input From PTI)

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Also Read: Air India To Operate Eight Evacuation Flights Between India and Australia

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