India is set to begin its largest overseas evacuation of stranded Indian nationals abroad since independence. The operation to bring back Indians stranded in various countries due to airspace closures because of the Covid-19 pandemic will commence in a phased manner, the first phase to begin as early as this week.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has prepared a chart for the evacuation of over 14,000 Indian nationals stranded in 13 foreign countries by 64 flights in week 1 of the operation.
According to the MEA plan shared with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) that is set to begin from May 7, an approximate 14,800 passengers will be evacuated from 13 different countries. Flights from India will fly to the Philippines, Singapore, Bangladesh, UAE, UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, Phillippines, USA, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait. The first day of evacuation will see 10 flights repatriate 2,300 Indians.
On Day 2, around 2050 Indian nationals will arrive in Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Delhi from nine different countries, according to the plan.
Similarly on Day 3, some 2050 stranded nationals are expected to arrive in Mumbai, Kochi, Lucknow and Delhi from 13 countries spread across the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and USA.
On Day 4 of the plan, the aviation ministry in collaboration with the MEA will evacuate 1850 stranded nationals from eight different countries, including the USA, UK and the UAE.