The Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced managing to get back more than 11 lakh Indians stranded in countries abroad due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Vande Bharat Mission, the center was able to repatriate the strangled Indians so far.
Taking to micro blogging site Twitter, the Civil Aviation ministry wrote: “Over 10, 98,000 stranded Indians have been repatriated under Mission Vande Bharat since 6th May. This would not have been possible without the continued support of all stakeholders. Thank you!”
Earlier on Monday, Air India had tweeted, “FlyAI: Important Update — Due to restrictions imposed by Hong Kong Authorities, AI 310/315, Delhi — Hong Kong — Delhi of August 18, 2020 stands postponed. Next update in this regard will be intimated soon. Passengers may please contact Air India Customer Care for assistance.”
The Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also informed that India is in negotiations with 13 countries including Australia, Italy and Japan to establish bilateral air bubble arrangements for flight operations.
The ‘air bubbles’ arrangement helps airlines of the two countries to operate international flights with certain restrictions.
Such ‘air bubbles’ arrangements have been made with the US, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar, and the Maldives while negotiations are underway with Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Puri said ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians and nationals of these countries, adding that air bubbles have also been proposed with our neighbours Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan.
“We continue to further strengthen the reach & scope of VBM (Vande Bharat Mission). Air travel arrangements are already in place with the USA, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar and Maldives. We are now taking these efforts forward and are negotiating with 13 more countries to establish such arrangements,” Puri tweeted.
Puri informed that the government will consider arrangements with other countries too and assured that no Indian will be left behind.