Air India is planning to operate 149 repatriation flights to 31 countries between May 16 and May 22 during the second phase of the Vande Bharat mission to bring back home Indians stranded abroad amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, officials said.

During the first phase of the Vande Bharat mission, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express are scheduled to operate total 64 flights between May 7 and May 14 to bring approximately 15,000 Indians from 12 countries on a payment basis.

“In the second phase, Air India and Air India Express will operate 149 flights to countries such as the USA, the UAE, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Malaysia, Oman, Kazakhstan, Australia, Ukraine, Qatar and Indonesia,” the airline officials stated.

Other countries to where the national carrier would operate flights between May 16 and May 22 are Russia, Philippines, France, Singapore, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Japan, Georgia, Germany and Tajikistan, officials noted.

The flights during the second phase will also be operated to Bahrain, Armenia, Thailand, Italy, Nepal, Belarus, Nigeria and Bangladesh, they mentioned.

India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 70,000 people and killed around 2,290 people in the country till now. All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended for the lockdown period. 

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