Over 15 lakh people returned to India under Vande Bharat Mission
More than 15 Lakh people have returned to the country through various modes under the Vande Bharat mission, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said.
Puri further said that more than 4.5 lakh people returned on flights.
“International flights continue to facilitate repatriation and outbound travel of stranded citizens under Vande Bharat Mission since 6 May 2020. More than 15 lakh people have returned through various modes including more than 4.5 lakh on flights so far,” Puri tweeted.
Puri also shared a photograph that stated that 4,059 Indian nationals returned on September 5.
The Vande Bharat mission started early May to evacuate Indians stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All international flights from and to India will remain suspended till September 30. In a circular released on Monday, the central government extended the ban on all visa related services along with international flights. There will be exceptions as earlier for cargo and special flights permitted by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The Vande Bharat Mission flights will operate as scheduled. Earlier last month, Indian had extended its international flight operation from July 31 to August 31 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. International flights to and from India have been under suspension since March 23, 2020. Domestic flights on limited routes and sectors began operation on May 25 with an initial capacity of 33%, later raised to 45%.
India signed ‘Transport Bubble’ agreements with the United States of America, France, and Germany last month, to allow gradual movement of passenger traffic during the Covid-19 health crisis. Air France and United Airlines of the US will operate a limited number of international flights under the ‘air bubble’ arrangements with India.
Later such an agreement was also signed with Kuwait and UAE to evacuate stranded passengers.