Vande Bharat Mission was launched in April to repatriate Indians who had been stranded in the different parts of the world due to Covid-19 related restrictions

Keeping up the momentum of repatriating stranded Indians from overseas, the Indian government on Thursday launched the third phase of ‘Vande Bharat Mission.’

Under the third phase, which will continue till July 2, there will be a total 432 flights from 43 countries to 17 states and union territories, Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday.

Besides Air India, private carriers will operate 29 flights – Indigo will have 24 flights from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Malaysia, Go Air three flights from GCC states and Vistara two flights from Singapore.

Ramping up the repatriation process, he said there will also be flights from six countries in Africa, 53 flights from the US, 24 flights from Canada, a total of 170 flights from GCC states, and 16 flights each from Paris and Frankfurt, which will serve as hubs in Europe for Vande Bharat Mission.

So far 165,000 Indians have been evacuated from different corners of the world in the first two phases of the Mission.

According to the MEA spokesperson, of the 165,000 people returned to India, 29034 were migrant workers, 12774 students and 11241 professionals. As many as 61,000 Indians came from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal using land border immigration checkpoints.

The MEA spokesperson said around four lakh Indians have registered with various Indian missions for their return under compelling grounds.

For the repatriations, four means were used besides Air India flights. These were Indian naval ships, foreign carriers, chartered flights and land border checkpoints.

IVD Bureau