The Air India Express flight that was scheduled to fly out with 181 Indian citizens stranded in Doha has been called off for now, an airport official said on Sunday.
Sources told News18 that the flight was denied permission to land because of some technical reasons. It was to travel to Doha from Kozhikode around 1 pm and land in Thiruvananthapuram around 10.45 pm.
"There have been some technical issues as Doha has not given the permission for this flight to land. What we are given to understand is that this flight has been called off. Now it will have to operate under a new schedule. We were fully ready to receive the flight later in the night," said the official who did not wish to be identified.
The Thiruvananthapuram district collector told the media that the flight has now been rescheduled for Tuesday. According to reports, about 50 passengers booked to travel from Doha had already reached the airport there.
Kerala will thus see only one flight on Sunday, and that is the one bringing stranded Indians from Malaysia to Kochi in the night.
Sunday is the fourth day of a mammoth operation by the government to bring back Indians stuck abroad because of the closure of airspaces due to Covid-19. The exercise involves sending commercial passenger planes and Indian Navy warships to over a dozen countries.
Earlier in the day, 572 people landed at Mumbai airport in two flights - one from United Kingdom with 329 people and another from Singapore with 243 people. The first repatriation flight from the United States took off from the San Francisco International Airport on Sunday, with around 200 people on board.
In the first phase from May 7 to May 13, 14,800 Indians are to be repatriated from 13 countries. All those being repatriated will be screened before boarding and only those with no signs of COVID-19 infection will be allowed to return, the government said, adding that all would be screened on arrival also be sent to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period