11 Air India Express flights are planned to India from Dubai in the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission starting on May 16

India’s national carrier Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express were to expand their scope of operations under the 'Vande Bharat' air repatriation operations and are likely to operate flights to 32 countries from May 16 as part of the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission.

Till Friday, two airlines flew back Indian citizens from 12 countries under the phase 1 of the Vande Bharat mission.

The official Twitter account of Consulate General of India in Dubai said, “We are happy that 11 Air India Express flights are planned to India from Dubai in the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission, starting on May 16 and till May 23.

“First phase of Vande Bharat Mission was eminently successful with 11 flights and 2079 passengers from Dubai to India. We are thankful to Govt of Dubai and the entire Indian community.

“Following is the break up of passengers: Workers 760, Stranded Tourist, Visitors and Students 438, Medical Emergency Cases 398, Pregnant Women 190, Senior Citizens 126, others 167.”

The UAE Health Ministry conducted 38,000 COVID-19 tests and revealed 747 new cases among various nationalities, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 21,831.

The Ministry also announced the death of two patients due to complications arising from Covid-19. The total number of deaths from Covid-19 in the country now stands at 210.

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths today confirmed that while the airport operator is taking appropriate measures to control costs, optimise liquidity, facilitate cargo and repatriation flights and prepare for a timely and proportionate activation of facilities and services at Dubai International, DXB, to support the resumption of scheduled traffic, the timing and the speed of air traffic recovery will ultimately depend on the development of a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is of a very different nature than any previous crisis in that it has affected supply, demand and health security and by extension the entire global economy," said Griffiths. "We're dealing with a monster here for which we clearly have to find a solution. Until there is a proven level of confidence medically that people can travel without fear of spreading or contracting the virus, the situation we find ourselves in is likely to continue."

Courtesy: Gulf Today

Gulf Today