Vande Bharat Mission phase 4 begins on July 3, 2020

Thiruvananthapuram-bound passengers at HIA

Governments across the globe have operated special charters to bring their distressed citizens back home since a considerable portion of global commercial air travel had come to a screeching halt.

The government started the mega mission to evacuate stranded Indians from overseas on May 6.

As per fresh reports coming in, Air India has announced that there will be eighth evacuation flights that will be running between India and Australia under the Vande Bharat Mission.

Under the fourth phase of the mission, Air India will be conducting 170 flights connecting India with Canada, the U.S., the UK, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Myanmar, Japan, Ukraine and Vietnam, as per the airline's document accessed by the PTI.

15 more flights are scheduled to arrive in Mumbai till July 1 as part of Phase III of the mission, and 21 more flights have been scheduled to land in Mumbai in Phase IV till July 15.

That includes 150,00 who have returned on almost 700 flights.

The US Department of Transportation announced on June 22 that it has barred Air India from operating chartered flights between India and the United States from July 22 without its prior approval, in an apparent retaliation for the Indian government not allowing American carriers to operate between the two countries.

Furthermore, the DOT stated that USA airlines were denied permission to operate these repatriation charters, referencing a Delta Air Lines letter sent to the Indian government dated May 26, 2020.

Several European countries have also lodged similar complaints. The Indian government has forced flights operated by Air France and British Airways to fly to India empty to pick up passengers while Air India has taken passengers in both directions. The Indian government has also approved additional flight services to bring back Indian nationals who are still stranded overseas.

On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates has denied Air India limited to carry passengers to the country from India unless specifically approved by the government of UAE. "Number of pvt carriers, flights & destinations likely to increase".



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