Air India to operate 149 flights to 31 countries in phase-2 of Vande Bharat

Topics Air India | MEA | Coronavirus

The government is yet to announce a firm schedule and ticket prices for these flights.
Air India will operate 149 flights to 31 countries in the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission beginning May 16.

The second phase of the mission to fly stranded Indians home will cover countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, CIS states and Australia. The maximum number of flights will be flown to the US (13), followed by UAE (11), Canada (10), Saudi Arabia and the UK (nine each), a government official said.

Details on number of Indians to be flown in second phase were not immediately shared. The government is yet to announce a firm schedule and ticket prices for these flights.

Among the states Kerala will receive maximum flights (31), followed by Delhi (22) and Karnataka (17). Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir will receive one flight each, the official added. 

The first phase of the mission began on May 7 with flights to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore. Over 6,000 Indians have returned on 31 flights till now and an another around 9,000 are expected to return in next few days.

The second phase of operations is bigger in scale and involves operations to countries which are other wise not a part of network for Air India or any other Indian carrier. This includes Ukraine, Belarus, countries in Central Asia, Ireland, Nigeria among others. 

"Our aircraft and crew are in a state of readiness and on the back end we are contracting with ground handling agencies and maintenance repair and overhaul units to provide services to our flights in these countries," an airline executive said.

Around 30 planes including wide body Boeing-777, Boeing-787 and narrow-bodied Airbus A-320 would be deployed in the second phase. 

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