On Friday, 200 distressed blue-collared workers, many of who had lost jobs and were in dire straits, were able to fly home to Chennai on Saturday, May 8.
After facing several delays, two separate Air India Express flights repatriated over 360 distressed Indians. The flights were initially planned to depart at 2.45 pm and 7 pm, respectively.
However, the first flight IX 612 flew out at approximately 8.07 pm with 176 passengers. The second flight, IX 540 took home 177 passengers to Chennai at approximately 9 pm. There were 37 pregnant women and 42 medical cases, according to the Consulate General of India in Dubai. “The rest are elderly people, stranded tourists and families of those travelling,” said the Consulate in a tweet.
For many blue-collared workers, this flight came as a saving grace as many were unemployed, struggling to make ends meet, and living in the fear of infection.