Vande Bharat, Day 6: First expat flight lands in Kannur; 3 flights bring 650 to Kerala

Vande Bharat, Day 6: Three flights to arrive in Kerala today

The Air India flight from Dubai, a part of the Vande Bharat repatriation mission, carrying 182 passengers reached Kannur at 7:24pm on Tuesday. This is the first flight to arrive in Kannur.

Another flight from Dammam in Saudi Arabia reached the Cochin International Airport at 8:15pm with 156 passengers.

The Doha-Thiruvananthapuram flight, initially scheduled for Sunday and later rescheduled, landed at Thiruvananthapuram at Wednesday night with 181 passengers.

A flight from Singapore, whose original destination was Bengaluru, which extended its service to Kochi landed at 10:47pm. The flight brought 131 passengers to Kochi while 45 deboarded at Bengaluru.

Vande Bharat, Day 6: Three flights to arrive in Kerala today

A thermal face detection camera has been installed at the airports and passengers with any symptoms of COVID-19 would be shifted immediately to the Government Medical College hospital and others to quarantine centres. Pregnant women and children would be sent for home quarantine.

Meanwhile, the second Indian Navy ship under 'Operation Samudra Setu' - INS Magar with 202 evacuees from Maldives arrived at Cochin Port on Tuesday at 5:45pm.

Update on Sunday's cancelled flight

The Doha-Thiruvananthapuram flight, initially scheduled for Sunday and later cancelled, will now depart Doha at 9pm on Tuesday and is expected to land at Thiruvananthapuram at 12:40am on Wednesday. The flight was cancelled as it did not get landing permission in Doha.

INS Magar arrives at Kochi with 202 Indian nationals from Maldives

In the second phase of the repatriation mission by the Indian navy, more than 200 Indian citizens stranded in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Kochi by a Naval ship on Tuesday evening, officials said.

There are 91 repatriates of Kerala, 83 of Tamil Nadu and 28 belonging to 15 other states and Union Territories.

The Ernakulam District Administration, Police Department and other Government agencies are coordinating transportation, quarantine facilities and ambulances.

People belonging to Tamil Nadu will be moved in buses arranged by the Tamil Nadu Government, officials said.

In the first phase, INS Jalashwa had evacuated 698 Indian nationals stranded in the Maldives on May 10.

World's largest repatriation mission

Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express have operated 31 inbound flights during the first five days of the Vande Bharat mission, bringing home 6,037 Indians who were stranded abroad amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Tuesday.

Air India and Air India Express are scheduled to operate total 64 flights between May 7 and May 14 to bring in approximately 15,000 Indians who are stranded in 12 countries.

India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 70,000 people and killed around 2,290 people in the country so far.

"6,037 Indians have been flown back to India in 31 inbound flights operated by Air India and Air India Express under Vande Bharat Mission in 5 days beginning from 7th May 2020," the Civil Aviation Ministry said in its press release on Tuesday.

Yesterday, two Air India flights brought 361 Keralites from United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain on Monday.

The first flight from Dubai to Kochi ferried 177 passengers, while the second flight from Manama, Bahrain's capital, brought home 184 persons, including 21 pregnant women and four children.

Around 2,000 people are expected to reach Kerala in the first five days on board 13 flights, official sources said. More than 1,90,000 Indian nationals, who would have to pay a one-way ferry service charge, are expected to be brought back.

The international airports at Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram will handle the arrivals.

Besides the four destinations in Kerala, the national carrier would be operating services to Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Tiruchirapalli. Air India has also invited passengers, who qualify under the government's new international travel norms, to apply for passage from India to various destinations the airline will send its aircraft to conduct evacuation flights.

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