Airline major IndiGo operated its maiden passenger charter to Vietnamese city Hanoi, and Laos' Vientiane to help stranded nationals get back home. According to the airline, the people returning to Vientiane consisted of Indian and foreign ex-pats, students and Buddhist monks.
"The flight from India repatriated 106 Vietnamese, 1 Filipino and 29 Laos nationals along with 89 Indian citizens," the airline said in a statement.
"The return flight repatriated 139 Indian nationals from Hanoi and 50 Indian nationals from Vientiane. IndiGo operated these flights while adhering to all the precautionary measures, ensuring a safe and hassle-free travel experience on-board a lean clean flying machine."
"The repatriated Indian citizens consisted of students, labourers and employees who had lost their job due to the pandemic, along with some Vietnamese diplomats who had come to serve their new term in New Delhi," the statement said.
The airline recently announced that it will develop a flight network to Russia and the Central Asian countries during the next few months. While scheduled international passenger flight services remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, special international flights have been operating with the permission of aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
During the last few weeks, IndiGo has operated passenger charter flights and cargo charter flights to countries like Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, its Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer Sanjay Kumar said. "The last couple of weeks have given us a great learning on the potential of these markets, which were kind of unexplored from our point of view so far," Kumar said at a webinar titled 'The Way Forward for Developing India-Central Asia Air Corridor' that was organised by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).