New Delhi: Air India will open bookings on Thursday evening on select repatriation flights to be operated from India to the USA, the UK, Australia, Frankfurt, Paris and Singapore under the second phase of the Vande Bharat Mission.
Only citizens of these countries will be eligible to fly on the outbound flights. However, in some of these flights, persons holding a valid visa of a certain duration of that country are also permitted.
"Reservations for travel from India to select destinations in USA, UK, Australia & to Frankfurt, Paris & Singapore will commence from 1700 hrs on 14th May 20 on http://HYPERLINK "http://airindia.in"airindia.in," the national carrier said on Twitter.
The Narendra Modi government started the Vande Bharat Mission on May 7 to bring stranded Indians home on a payment basis amid the coronavirus lockdown. It also permitted foreign nationals and valid visa holders to book seats on these outbound flights.
Under phase one of the mission, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express are scheduled to operate 64 flights to bring 14,800 Indians home from 12 countries between May 7 and May 14.
On Wednesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said 30,000 Indians will return from 31 countries on 149 flights between May 16 and May 22, the duration for the second phase of the Vande Bharat Mission.
"Phase II of Vande Bharat from 16-22 May will also include flights from Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Canada, France, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand and Ukraine," he tweeted.
India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected 78,003 people and killed 2,549 in the country.