VBM: 1.3 Lakh Stranded People Repatriated In Phase 8+


Anurag Srivastava, the spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said about 1.3 lakh passengers were returned to India on Thursday as part of Phase 8 Plus of the Vande Bharat mission.

Vande Bharat Mission Phase VIII Plus is presently underway since 1 December 2020. This phase is progressing well,” said Srivastava in his weekly press conference.

He also added, “This includes those who have travelled under bilateral air bubble arrangements that we have in place now with 23 countries.”

Phase 8 of the Vande Bharat Mission was extended to December 31 earlier this month. A total of 897 flights from 15 countries were planned in the phase, with which an estimated 1.5 lakh could be returned.


The Vande Bharat Mission began evacuating Indians who were stranded overseas due to travel restrictions caused by Covid in early May. Since then, the government has returned more than 38.4 lakh.

Recently, on Wednesday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that 6,188 people stranded were repatriated in Phase 7 of the Vande Bharat Mission.

On Twitter, Puri shared data showing that on December 15 (Tuesday), 6,188 Indians themselves were returning from various locations such as Sharjah, London, Nairobi and others.

International flights to and from India will be suspended until December 31, the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced in November and extended the scheduled flight overseas, which ended on November 30, by eight months.

According to the DGCA, international scheduled flights can be permitted on selected routes on a case-by-case basis by the competent authority.

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