India will organise 10 special Air India repatriation flights from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai from May 7-13 to cities including Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Delhi and Amritsar.
On May 7, one flight will depart from Abu Dhabi to Kochi and another one from Dubai to Kozhikode.
On May 8, two flights will depart for Chennai from Dubai.
On May 9, one flight will depart from Sharjah bound for Lucknow.
On May 10, one flight will depart from Abu Dhabi to Hyderabad.
On May 11, one flight is scheduled from Dubai to Kochi.
On May 12, two flights are scheduled for Delhi, both of which will depart from Dubai.
On May 13, there will be one flight from Dubai to Amritsar.
Each of these flights has an average capacity of 200 people.
These 10 flights announced by the Indian civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday are part of 64 global repatriation flights being undertaken by the government to bring back citizens stranded abroad.
“A total of ten flights from UAE, two from Qatar, five from Saudi Arabia, seven from the UK, five from Singapore, seven from the US, five from Philippines, seven from Bangladesh, two from Bahrain, seven from Malaysia, five from Kuwait, and two from Oman will be operated during this period,” added Puri.
Of these, 15 will land in Kerala, 11 each in Delhi-NCR and Tamil Nadu, seven each in Maharashtra and Telangana, five in Gujarat, three in Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka and one each in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Indian nationals in the GCC region who are “no longer gainfully employed” will be given priority when India begins repatriating its citizens this week, officials have said.
The Indian government will also give preference to individuals who arrived in the GCC region on visit visas which have since expired, pregnant women, the elderly and those who require medical treatment in India.
Passengers would be subject to medical screening before boarding their flight and only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel.
On reaching their destination in India, everyone would need to register on the Arogya Setu app.
All incoming passengers would be medically screened and quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on a payment-basis by the concerned state government.
A Covid-19 screening test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken accordingly.
The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai began the e-registration of citizens wishing to return home through the link cgidubai.gov.in/covid_register/
On May 4, in a press release, the Consulate General of India in Dubai said that nearly 200,000 people had registered on the portal to return home.
The statement added that the exact cost of the tickets and other conditions, for travel including quarantine requirements after reaching India, and health requirements to board the flight will be conveyed in due course and will have to be accepted by each passenger.
It also said that air tickets will only be issued to those on the passenger lists prepared by the Embassy/Consulate and that those selected for these initial repatriation flights will be contacted individually via emails and phone calls.
The flights will be chargeable and those who cannot afford them will be evacuated by naval ships, added the officials.
Two Indian naval ships INS Shardul and INS Airava are already en route to the UAE.