Over 58 more flights have been added to evacuate stranded and distressed Indian citizens from Gulf countries until 30th June 2020. Starting immediately, the number of flights from Gulf under the Phase-3 of the Vande Bharat Mission has been increased from the originally planned 107 to 165, tweeted Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Air India Express flight IX 1172 Delhi departed from Bahrain to Delhi with 177 passengers on board yesterday. On 10th June over 3526 people returned from Doha, Frankfurt, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Salalah, Singapore, Muscat & Kuala Lumpur.

“More than 70,000 citizens have returned and nearly 17,000 flew out of India on VBM flights till date. In addition, nearly 1,10,000 people flew out and 55,000 citizens returned on more than 730 charters on foreign and Indian carriers permitted by DGCA. Permission for more such flights is in process,” Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission started yesterday (June 10) and will last till July 1. The schedule has 356 flights, which include the return services and domestic connections. The second phase had about 180 flights and the first, which ran between May 7 and 15, had 64 flights. 

The mission, said to be the largest repatriation exercise in the world, intends to bring back over two lakh Indians stranded across the world since the lockdown was announced in March.