The Centre on Thursday said West Bengal will get more flights as part of the government’s Vande Bharat Mission in the next few weeks, after questions were raised on non-availability of flights to the state.
The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said two flights will come from Dhaka to Kolkata on May 27 and June 1. “As we go along, further flights are planned from Europe, the UK and from other destinations,” he said.
Briefing reporters about the second phase of the mission from May 16 to June 13, Srivastava said, “We are looking to bring back our nationals from 47 countries on 162 flights. In this phase, we are including places like Istanbul, Ho Chi Minh City, Lagos, etc, and increasing flights to the US and Europe. We are also looking at developing Frankfurt as a hub.”
Srivastava said the government is also receiving Indian nationals stranded abroad on flights from other countries that are coming in to evacuate nationals of those countries. He said: “We are bringing back our nationals from far-flung areas like Argentina, South Africa, Peru, Mongolia, etc. In fact, a flight from Buenos Aires arrived early this morning – at 2.35 am – with 62 Indian nationals. About 300 pilgrims from Ladakh arrived on 17 May onboard Mahaan Air flight from Iran.
“Other flights from Djibouti and Hong Kong have brought in our nationals stranded in those places.”
As of Thursday, Srivastava said, 23,475 Indian nationals have returned under this mission. They include 4,883 workers, 4,196 students, 3,087 professionals among others. There are 2,59,001 people registered to return from 98 countries.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines