Over 12 lakh Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the "Vande Bharat" evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Phase 5 of this mission will be completed on August 31.
In this phase, around 900 international flights have been operated from 22 different countries reaching 23 airports across India, he said at an online media briefing.
"As on August 26, more than 12 lakh Indians stranded abroad have been repatriated by different modes under the Vande Bharat Mission," Srivastava said.
Noting that phase six of the mission is scheduled to begin on September 1, he said based on an assessment of demand by Indian missions and posts abroad, flights are being scheduled by Air India group and private carriers.
Bubble arrangements with different countries will continue as per schedule in the next phase too, he added.
An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions in which the carriers of the two countries can operate international flights.