Sixth phase of Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indian citizens from Gulf begins

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The sixth phase of special flights to repatriate Indian citizens from the Gulf and other locations worldwide will commence on September 1, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

This was stated by the Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in New Delhi on Monday. “Phase VI of Vande Bharat Mission is scheduled to begin on September 1. Based on an assessment of demand by our Missions/Posts abroad, flights are being scheduled by Air India Group and private carriers,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Air India on Monday announced its tentative schedule for Vande Bharat Phase VI repatriation flights from Dubai, Bahrain and Jeddah from September 1 till October 24.

Read more: Coronavirus: Dubai’s Emirates announces five special repatriation flights to India

Air India Express announced its tentative schedule from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Doha, Bahrain and Kuwait for the entire month of September.

Vande Bharat Mission is the name which the Indian government has given for a massive, worldwide airlift of Indian citizens wishing to return home following disruptions caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Providing confirmed figures as of August 26, Srivastava said: “More than 1.2 million Indians stranded abroad have been repatriated by different modes under the Vande Bharat Mission. Flights have been added for repatriation from Kuwait. In addition, the number of flights from other GCC countries has been further augmented.”

Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, said that negotiations on air travel arrangements with 18 more countries are ongoing which when it comes to fruition will “benefit stranded Indians and nationals of these countries.”