Indian passengers wait at Chicago airport in US for their flight back home.
The Vande Bharat Mission, which started on May 7, to bring back stranded Indian nationals back home from other countries launched its second phase of operations today by sending three Air India flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Under the second phase of the mission, a total of 149 flights, including feeder flights, will be operated to bring back Indians from 40 countries.
Out of the 149 flights, 13 flights will come from the US, 11 from the UAE, 10 from Canada, nine each from Saudi Arabia and the UK, eight each from Malaysia and Oman, seven each from Kazakhstan and Australia.
A total of 31 flights will come to Kerala, 22 to Delhi, 17 to Karnataka, 16 to Telangana, 14 to Gujarat, 12 to Rajasthan, nine to Andhra Pradesh, seven to Punjab, six each to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, three to Odisha, two to Chandigarh, and one each to Jammu and Kashmir, Jaipur, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh.
India has been under lockdown since March 25 to break the coronavirus chain of transmission. During this time all international (and domestic) flights have been banned, leaving tens of thousands of Indians stranded abroad and thousands of foreign nationals stuck in India.
The government started the Vande Bharat Mission -- one of the largest initiatives to repatriate nationals back to India -- on May 7 under which the Ministry of Civil Aviation is coordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs and state governments for bringing Indians back to their homeland.
The first phase of the Vande Bharat Mission covering across 12 countries was completed today.