Almost 13 lakh Indians have returned from abroad under Vande Bharat Mission: MEA

PTI

File photo of an Air India aircraft.

File photo of an Air India aircraft.

Almost 13 lakh Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the ‘Vande Bharat’ evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the phase six of the Vande Bharat Mission has been operational from September 1. In this phase, 1,007 international flights from 24 countries have been scheduled to operate during this month and they are expected to repatriate over 2 lakh people.

“The Vande Bharat Mission as on September 2 had repatriated almost 13 lakh Indians through different modes. These modes are Air India, private and foreign carriers, chartered flights, naval ships and land border crossings,” Srivastava said at an online media briefing.

He said bilateral travel arrangements in the form of travel air bubbles and flight operations from 11 countries form the bulk of this phase. Similar arrangements are being negotiated with more countries by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

“As always, this ministry continues to monitor closely the demand for repatriation and travel to India from different countries through our missions and posts and is working with airlines to ensure assistance,” the official added.