Air India to soon operate flights under Vande Bharat Mission Phase 6 from September 1 to October 24. So far it has flown over 11 lakh Indians. By Tanvi Jain

 

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National carrier Air India is all set to enter the sixth phase of its ongoing Vande Bharat Mission from September 1, which is scheduled to go on till October 24. “#FlyAI: Air India will operate over 145 flights between India and USA from 1st September to 24th October 2020 under #VBM. Bookings can be done through Air India Website, Booking Offices and also through Authorised travel agents,” the airline said. 

“More flights & destinations being added to VBM to further widen the geographic reach of the mission in its current phase & in Phase-6 from 1 Sept to 24 Oct 2020. Our endeavour is to reach out to every stranded & distressed Indian citizen around the world,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted. 

 

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As per media reports, the airline will cover Mumbai-Newark, Delhi-New York, Delhi-Chicago, Delhi-San Francisco and Delhi-Washington DC routes. Puri had earlier confirmed that the country is negotiating with 13 nations to establish individual bilateral travel bubbles. 

We continue to further strengthen the reach & scope of VBM. Air Travel arrangements are already in place with the USA, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar & Maldives. We are now taking these efforts forward & are negotiating with 13 more countries to establish such arrangements. These countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand. The ongoing negotiations will benefit stranded Indians & nationals of these countries. Air bubbles have also been proposed with our neighbours Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal & Bhutan. Going forward, we will consider such arrangements with other countries also. It is always our endeavour to reach out to every stranded citizen. No Indian will be left behind,” Puri had earlier said. 

 

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Meanwhile, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava recently confirmed in a media briefing that, so far a total 11.2 lakh Indians stranded abroad have been repatriated by different modes under Vande Bharat Mission, and in the ongoing phase five of the Vande Bharat Mission, “around 500 international flights and 130 domestic feeders have been operated so far from 22 different countries and they reached 23 airports across India. Around 375 more international flights are scheduled to be operated by the end of this month.” He also said that flights have been added for repatriation from Kuwait, Maldives, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, UK and Canada.

Related: India Eyes Travel Bubbles With 13 Countries Including Italy, Australia, Japan, Bahrain, Russia & More