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Vande Bharat Mission Day 1: Air India, AI Express operate flights to Singapore, UAE

Vande Bharat Mission Day 1: Air India, AI Express operate flights to Singapore, UAE

Vande Bharat Mission Day 1: Air India, AI Express operate flights to Singapore, UAE
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By IANS  May 8, 2020 7:26:34 AM IST (Published)

Overall, more than 190,000 Indian nationals, who would have to pay a one-way ferry service charge, are expected to be brought back in the airlift operation.

National carrier Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express have embarked upon -- Vande Bharat Mission -- touted as one of the world's largest evacuation operations.

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Accordingly, the two airlines operated flights to UAE and Singapore from Cochin, Kozhikode and New Delhi.
These were the first of 64 flights that the two airlines will operate from May 7-13 to bring back 14,800 stranded Indians from 12 countries.
Overall, more than 190,000 Indian nationals, who would have to pay a one-way ferry service charge, are expected to be brought back in the airlift operation.
In comparison, three decades ago, Air India led a group of airlines which included Indian Airlines and Aeroflot as well as IAF to rescue an estimated 111,711 Indians from the Gulf, after Iraq invaded Kuwait in the year 1990.
The 59-day operation involved 488 flights and was conducted before the first Gulf war. This time, the exercise will encompass flights to the US in the West to Philippines in the East.
On Thursday, Air India operated its first evacuation flights under India's "Vande Bharat Mission" from New Delhi to Singapore.
Accordingly, the airline's Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft departed the national capital's IGI Airport around 11.30 p.m. The return flight is expected to reach back to New Delhi at 11.30 a.m. on Friday.
The national passenger carrier's subsidiary Air India Express operated two flights from Kerala to Gulf on Thursday. Air India Express operated the Cochin-Abu Dhabi-Cochin and Kozhikode-Dubai-Kozhikode service.
Besides the one-way ferry service, Air India has also invited passengers, who qualify under the government's new international travel norms to apply for passage from India to various destinations the airline will send its aircraft to conduct evacuation flights.
India has commenced one of the world's largest air evacuation operations from May 7, when the two airlines will start the first phase of the mission.
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