The world’s largest reparations exercise, Vande Bharat Mission, is all set to start its fourth phase from 3 July, with national carrier Air India and its subsidiary operating 414 flights and private airlines operating 498 flights. The government started this mega mission to evacuate stranded Indians from abroad on 6 May as scheduled international passenger flights had been suspended in India since 23 March due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“VBM enters phase 4 on 3 July 2020. In this phase, Air India will operate 114 flights between July 3-15, including 31 flights to US; 19 to UK; 9 to Canada and 8 to Australia. AI Express will operate 300 flights in July 136 upto July 14 and 164 from July 15-31. Private airlines have volunteered for significant participation in this phase with 498 flights to be operated by them. Among others, IndiGo will operate 238 flights from Qatar and 219 flights from Kuwait; while GoAir will operate 41 flights from Kuwait. Number of private carriers, flights and destinations is likely to increase,” said the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Under the this phase of Vande Bharat Mission, Air India and Air India Express will repatriate people from 17 countries — Canada, the US, the UK, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Myanmar, Japan, Ukraine and Vietnam.
More than 147,000 Indians have already returned on Vande Bharat flights, and more than 52,000 have flown out to different countries.