As India commences its largest rescue operations to bring back stranded citizen in foreign countries, BJP General Secretary of North Delhi recently tweeted a video of passengers of a rescue flight applauding Air India for their efforts.
Passengers of the San Fransisco - Mumbai flight that brought stranded nationals after India went into a lockdown. Although allowed as special case, Air India is charging the passengers for the ticket price, unlike the earlier rescue flights which were operated free of cost. Cost of tickets from London to Mumbai will be Rs 50,000, and cost to San Francisco will be Rs 1 Lakh.
Indian citizens on their way to Mumbai from San Francisco onboard @airindiain flight cheer & applaud members of the crew who were flying them back home.— Ravinder Gupta (@guptaravinder71) May 12, 2020
Warm gestures which inspire our Corona Warriors.
#MissionVandeBharat @PIB_India@CGISFO pic.twitter.com/B7alXf3Cx9
This gives a breather to the airlines who are waiting for the government to lift the travel ban, which has exceeded more than 40 days. Since March 25, all the domestic air carriers have parked their planes due to the ban, suffering massive economic setback. This is for the first time, govt has allowed for airlines to operate flight on a chargeable basis.
The 64 flights planned include - 10 flights to UAE, two flights to Qatar, five to Saudi Arabia, seven to the UK, five to Singapore, seven to the United States, five to the Philippines, seven to Bangladesh, two to Bahrain, seven to Malaysia, five to Kuwait, and two to Oman.
Out of the 64 flights, 15 flights from 7 countries will come to Kerala, 11 flights will come to Delhi, 3 flights to Jammu and Kashmir and 1 Flight to Lucknow. It was also stated that this is a special mission, and all those who avail of this will be charged - and on arrival, all the passengers will have to be screened and will have to be subjected to 14 day quarantine period.
In addition to this, it was also announced that those who are in India but have long term visas and work opportunities outside and want to return, may be considered to be sent back to those countries in the same flights.
Although there is no confirmation, government is in talks with airlines to resume the domestic air services in a staggered once the lockdown is lifted post March 17.