The first flight for evacuating Indians, mostly Keralites, stranded in Abu Dhabi departed from Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at 12.30 pm on Thursday, official sources said here. The flight is expected to reach Abu Dhabi airport at 3.15 pm.
The scheduled take off the flight from Abu Dhabi at 4. 15 pm. It will return to Kochi carrying 177 adults and four infants, the sources told P T I. The first evacuation flight from Abu Dhabi is expected to land at Cochin International Airport at 9.40 pm, the sources said.
Another Air India Express (AIE) flight to Dubai is scheduled from Kozhikode interantional airport at 1.20 pm. The flight, carrying 177 passengers and five infants, is expected to take off from Dubai airport at 5 pm.
The flight is expected to land at Kozhikode airport at 10.30 pm on Thursday night, officials said. Around 2,000 people are expected to reach the state in the first five days onboard 13 flights, official sources said adding arrangements, including accommodation for quarantine and thermal screening at airports, have been made.
In addition to the air evacuation, two naval ships have left for Maldives on Tuesday to bring back the Indian citizens. The Centre has made arrangements to operate 64 flights from May 7 to May 13 from the Gulf countries, Singapore, US, and UK among others to bring back stranded Indian nationals.
Doctors and nurses of a government hospital in Kochi imparted training to 12 airline staff, including four pilots, on the steps to be taken while donning and doffing of personal protective equipment(PPE) suits, infection control practices to be followed in-flight and also the management of anticipated health emergencies during the flight.
Two masks, 100ml sanitiser, a snack box and half litre of water will be ready in the seats of the passengers before take-off. AIE has tied up with Central Warehousing Corporation to disinfect the aircraft before and after each trip