Air India to run domestic flights from May 19, only for those repatriated under ‘Vande Bharat’


Air India to run domestic flights from May 19, only for those repatriated under ‘Vande Bharat’

As India gears up for lockdown 4.0, plans to resume operations in certain sectors are on the table. Reportedly, national carrier Air India will be operating special domestic flights between May 19 and June 2 to facilitate passengers stranded across the country. It is an aim to let those stranded reach their home states. Passengers will have to pay for the seats for which bookings are yet to begin.

As per the latest reports, the domestic flight will, however, ferry only those passengers who have been repatriated under the Vande Bharat Mission. The airline will be running these special flights as per the second phase of the repatriation mission.

These flight operations should not be confused with starting domestic operations as yet. These flights will be solely for evacuation operations that Air India has been doing under the Vande Bharat Mission. Many people, who have been evacuated from foreign countries, have been stranded at airports and would require further help to reach their home states.

As such, these special domestic flights will be connecting Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and some other states.

Air India to run domestic flights from May 19, only for those repatriated under ‘Vande Bharat’

A senior official from Air India further stated that the schedule is ready, and that they are waiting for a nod from the Civil Aviation Ministry. As per reports, the schedule for the second phase of evacuation flights to bring Indians from abroad has been prepared. The official added that the government had said that domestic flights too could be included in the second schedule.

Therefore, schedules for some of these flights have been prepared to ensure that passengers arriving from abroad on rescue flights can fly back to their home states. However, this activity will also depend on quarantine rules, the AI official mentioned.

Although the said operation was supposed to start on May 15, it was later postponed to 17. Whereas, now it has been decided that the operation will start on May 19, which will again depend on the Civil Aviation Ministry’s approval. This will also signal the start of domestic operations in a phased manner, the official stressed.

A majority of the flights are from Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Chennai will have one flight, i.e., Kochi-Chennai on May 19. Delhi will have 173 flights, Hyderabad 25, Mumbai 40, and Kochi 12.

Flights from Delhi will fly to Bengaluru, Jaipur, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Kochi, Gaya, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Lucknow and a few other cities. Flights from Mumbai will fly to Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, and Hyderabad.

Then there are flights from Hyderabad to Delhi, Mumbai and back. Bengaluru will have flights to Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, and an incoming flight from Bhubaneswar.

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