Air India special flight repatriates 225 stranded Indians from US to Mumbai
The flight is operating after a gap of almost 50 days after India imposed a ban on domestic as well as international flight operations in light of COVID-19
Mumbai: First Air India special flight, which took off from San Francisco with 225 Indians on board, landed in Mumbai on Monday.
The passengers departed from San Francisco International Airport on Saturday (local time) under the Government of India's Vande Bharat mission on Sunday.
"First AI spl flight from the US brings in 225 Indians from San Francisco to Mumbai. Thank @airindiain @MoCA_GoI and Maharashtra Govt for support and coordination. Great work by CG Sanjay Panda and Team @CGISFO," external affairs minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
Air India is operating in San Francisco sector after 50 days as India had imposed restrictions due to COVID-19 spread.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, India is conducting 'Vande Bharat' Mission -- its biggest ever repatriation exercise since independence to bring back stranded Indians from abroad, including from the US, the UAE and the UK.
Nearly 15,000 Indians are expected to return on special Air India flights from 12 countries in the coming days.
India’s COVID-19 count is nearing 63,000 mark with 62,939 cases after new cases topped 3,000 for the third consecutive day. Maharashtra alone accounts for over 20,228 infections a report by the Union health ministry has stated. The death toll has gone past 2,000.