First repatriation flight from London takes off for Mumbai

WION Web Team
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Published: May 09, 2020, 06.38 PM(IST)

Air India flight Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The flight marks the first of seven Air India routes organised by the Indian government from London Heathrow Airport to six Indian cities over the next week -- Mumbai (Saturday and Tuesday), Bengaluru (Sunday), Hyderabad (Monday), Ahmedabad (Wednesday), Chennai (Thursday) and New Delhi (Friday).

The first Air India flight from Britain, as part of the Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indians stranded overseas due to the coronavirus lockdown, took off with 326 passengers from London's Heathrow Airport on Saturday. It is scheduled to land in Mumbai in the early hours of Sunday.

The flight marks the first of seven Air India routes organised by the Indian government from London Heathrow Airport to six Indian cities over the next week -- Mumbai (Saturday and Tuesday), Bengaluru (Sunday), Hyderabad (Monday), Ahmedabad (Wednesday), Chennai (Thursday) and New Delhi (Friday).

The first Air India flight will land at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 1.30 am IST on Sunday.

Each of the passengers underwent temperature tests before boarding. These passengers could face 14 days of quarantine at a hotel or other location designated by the Maharashtra government on landing. The passengers are expected to be screened and allotted quarantine locations based on affordability.

Air India is providing a kit for all passengers confirmed to fly, with meals, snacks, sanitisers, masks and gloves.

Organisers have said that further flights are planned from the UK to other cities of India as well in phase two of the Vande Bharat Mission.

The schedule is being coordinated by the Indian High Commission in London, with payments made directly to Air India by confirmed passengers.

The first set of seven flights to India will prioritise Indian passport holders on vulnerability and health grounds.

The Air India flights landing at London Heathrow will also be bringing back some expatriates and UK visa holders wanting to fly back to the UK.

(with inputs from PTI)

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