The Government of India will begin conducting the first phase of repatriation flights for 14,800 Indian citizens stranded abroad from May 7, minister of civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday. Over 1.9 lakh Indians have approached the authorities with the request to return. From May 7 to 13, 64 flights will be operated by state-owned carriers Air India and Air India Express.
Evacuation flights will be operated from the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, the Philippines and Bangladesh.
FE last week had reported that while commercial flights would remain suspended, Air India may operate flights to evacuate stranded Indians in May. Passengers will have to pay for their seats and ticket prices will range between Rs 12,000 and Rs 1 lakh, depending on the destination.
For instance, the Dhaka-Delhi flight ticket will cost Rs 12,000, while the Chicago-Delhi, San Francisco-Delhi, Newark-Mumbai flights will cost Rs 1,00,000. “All those who can avail of this, will have to be charged… and on arrival all passengers will have to be screened and will have to be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period.