India’s repatriation mission will continue stated India’s Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Hardeep Singh Puri. The statement was released following Air India Express Flight IX-1344 operating under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) from Dubai crash-landed in Kozhikode, Kerala on Friday, killing 18 and injuring several passengers.

“VBM will continue with the same undaunted spirit. We will continue to bring back our stranded citizens from wherever in the world they are. I join the people of the state & every Indian in paying tribute to the 18 people who lost their lives in this air tragedy” said India’s Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Hardeep Singh Puri. 

“Deeply pained at the loss of lives on Flight IX-1344 operating under Vande Bharat, a mission which has otherwise been incident-free & facilitated the repatriation of more than 973K stranded citizens through various modes” he added. 

The minister emphasized that Kozikhode Airport has a total footfall of 3.2 million passengers per annum with 70-80 aircraft movement per day. The total wide-body operations are only 4% of the total.

“What also speaks volumes for the undaunted spirit of the aviation professionals & people of Kerala that despite this accident operations from the airport recommenced with 2 Air India express flights landing Saturday morning” stated the minister.

Meanwhile, it was clarified that all Air India aircraft are properly insured. Discussions will be held with passengers and their families at an appropriate juncture in line with Montreal convention. Presently, the Ministry is working to extend all possible support to families of the deceased and help to injured passengers.

In line with this, Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF) Bahrain issued a statement. 

“August 7th 2020 was a very sad day for the state of Kerala and we have seen two unfortunate incidents taking the headlines. A landslide in the district of Idukki has taken 26 lives and people are still missing. In the second incident, 18 people have lost their lives in an Air India flight, AXB1344 landing disaster at Kozhikode International Airport,” read the statement.

These incidents have deeply saddened all of us. ICRF expresses our sincere condolences and wishes that the affected families can cope with the unprecedented loss. We wish fast recoveries for al those undergoing treatment” it added.