BENGALURU: In the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission, national carrier Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will fly in other Indians stranded abroad to Karnataka in 18 evacuation flights from Monday to June 3, a politician said Sunday.
"The first flight, which is the part of the second phase of the mission to Karnataka is going to be from Dubai to Mangaluru by Air India Express on Monday evening and therefore the remaining 17 flights will land in Bengaluru over the following 17 days," an Air India official revealed in a statement.
In the first phase of the mission from May 7-17, the airline and its arm flew 6 flights to the state from May 11-15, bringing in 800 passengers, including 623 to the capital of the state and 177 to Mangaluru from London, Singapore, San Francisco and Dubai.
"In the second phase, Air India will operate 15 flights and its arm 3 flights to Bengaluru and Mangaluru from May 18-June 3. Numerous flights are going to be via New Delhi and Mumbai from different overseas destinations," said the official.
As per Union Ministry of Home Affairs' guidelines, priority to fly back is given first to the stranded citizens in various countries of the world over since March 23 when international flights were suspended and because of the nationwide lockdown since March 25 and its extension twice till May 17.
"Besides stranded citizens of the state, priority is being given to distressed Indian expatriates stuck after a job loss, especially within the Gulf region, students, tourists, senior citizens, pregnant women and medical emergency cases," the official said.
The 15 foreign destinations from where passengers are going to be ferried back are Melbourne (Australia), Toronto and Vancouver (Canada), Paris, Frankfurt (Germany), Jakarta, Dublin, Kuala Lumpur, Male, Muscat, Manila, Doha, Dammam (Saudi Arabia), Singapore, Dubai and New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.
"Though only asymptomatic passengers are being flown in, they're going to be screened and tested on landing and quarantined for 14 days before going home as per the mandate of the Union Health Ministry to make sure the virus isn't getting spread," added the official.
The government has booked star hotels, resorts, guest houses and hostels across the town to quarantine the overseas returnees for 14 days.
Of the 18 flights, 7 will terminate service in Bengaluru and 11 flights will head to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Kochi after a stop-over for the passengers from the state to alight.