The number of flights to operate from Gulf countries under Phase-3 of the Vande Bharat Mission has been increased from planned 107 to 165, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.
More than 70,000 Indians have returned and nearly 17,000 people have flown out of the country on flights operating under the mission, which began on May 7, Puri said on Twitter.
The Air India will operate around 300 flights to Europe, Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK and Africa between June 10 and July 1 during phase-3 of Vande Bharat Mission.
"58 more flights added to evacuate stranded & distressed Indian citizens from Gulf countries between now and 30th June 2020. Starting immediately, number of flights from Gulf under phase-3 of Vande Bharat Mission now increased from originally planned 107 to 165," Puri said on Twitter.
While scheduled domestic passenger flights resumed on May 25 after a gap of two months, scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India.
Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express started operating international flights from May 7 onwards to repatriate stranded Indians from abroad. The first phase was from May 7 to May 16, following which the second phase began.
Between May 7 and June 1, Air India group has operated a total 423 inbound international flights under the mission, bringing 58,867 Indian citizens back.