India to start rescue flight operations this week

Published on : Tuesday, May 5, 2020

India has finally decided to operate charter flights in order to rescue citizens, starting Thursday, May 7. Various Indian airlines will be flying to countries like the UAE, U.K., U.S., Oman, Singapore, and Kuwait among many others. According to reports, around 200,000 citizens have signed up for the flights in the UAE alone. Passengers availing rescue flights will have to pay for the tickets.

Millions of Indian citizens live in foreign countries. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, almost every country across the world closed down its borders and enforced international travel ban. India went into a countrywide lockdown and suspended all international flight activities. This resulted in numerous citizens being stranded abroad, away from their homeland.

Numerous countries all around the globe have arranged special flights to rescue its citizens from other countries. However, India has been one such country that has refrained from arranging much of charter flights to bring back its people from abroad. So far, the country has only sent special rescue flights to China, Iran, and Italy. The arrangement is set to change later this week.

According to reports, India has decided to operate 64 flights from 12 countries, bringing home nearly 14,800 citizens. Figures from UAE show that the demand for rescue flights is at an all-time high and the country will need hundreds of flights over the coming weeks to bring back all of its people. Air India stands at the forefront to volunteer for the action, with airlines expected to join soon.

The cost of these flights will be borne by the passengers, and citizens must pay to fly. Though the exact price of each flight is unknown at present, some amount of government subsidy can be expected. The announcement brings relief to millions of citizens who have been stranded for months. All citizens returning from abroad are required to be quarantined in a hospital or government facility for two weeks.

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