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Air India's first repatriation flight takes off from UAE

Air India's first repatriation flight takes off from UAE

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 07 May 2020, 03:18 pm

Dubai/IBNS: An Air India Express flight has taken off from Abu Dhabi carrying 177 Indian nationals who were stuck in the UAE amid the worldwide lockdown enforced to contain spread of coronavirus.

 

The  flight IX452 is the first of the two flights which will bring back the stranded Indians from UAE on Thursday. The plane will land at Kochi in Kerala.

A second Air India Express flight will take off from Dubai and land at Kozhikode.

A total of 354 Indians, including 11 pregnant women and a pair of twins, will fly back home in the two flights on Thursday night.

On Monday, the government announced repatriation of Indian citizens outside the country in phases from May 7.

In the biggest ever repatriation exercise named "Vande Bharat Mission", the Air India will operate 64 flights from May 7 to May 13 to bring back 15,000 Indian nationals from different parts of the world.

Only people with compelling reasons were chosen for repatriation by the Indian mission in UAE.

According to media reports, people started gathering at the airport from morning. The passengers with confirmed tickets were asked to come to air port five hours prior to departure.

There were more than 200,000 applicants, including 6,500 pregnant women, Neeraj Agrawal, Consul, Press, Information and Culture at the Indian Consulate in Dubai told the Gulf News.