India: Biggest evacuation operations begin from UAE to Kerala

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Indian missions in the UAE will coordinate one of the biggest evacuation operations of citizens, and will cull out the first list of distressed citizens to fly home on May 7.

The government of India announced on Monday that it will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner from May 7. The travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships.

Kapoor said the list of passengers will be given to Air India, which will issue tickets. The evacuation is on a payment basis and non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel.

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Kapoor said people can make payment either through the Air India website or at their city offices as is the norm while booking tickets.

The ambassador said they will see how it goes and make sure the systems are working fine before starting a full-scale operation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier said blue-collar workers will get the first seats in repatriation flights, as per Indian media reports.

The first two flights are expected to fly to Kerala as the Central government had earlier said that expats from Kerala would be the first ones to be brought since the state is well prepared to accommodate about 200,000 people at quarantine centres and hospitals.

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