It is no secret that the stoppage of commercial air travel over the past few months has left a lot of people stranded in India and also left a lot of Indians left stranded abroad. With this in mind, Air India was assigned the task of bringing back Indians from across the globe. Ideally, they are best suited for the mission given their wide-body aircraft portfolio. But Air India has been selling tickets on both legs for many flights, while the costs per seat were arrived at with the assumption that the outward leg would fly empty. There has been a great rush for Air India’s flights, especially to the USA, with flights selling out literally three minutes after opening bookings. This also has been because a minimal number of flights have been operated in the first month of the repatriation flights mission. Now, the number of Air India Evacuation flights is set to go up.
Earlier this week, the Government of India made the first indication that they will be putting out many more flights to bring back Indians home. The good thing is, the empty legs take people back to their workplaces/residences as well.
More flights being added to Mission Vande Bharat to enable stranded & distressed Indians to return home.@airindiain will operate 70 flights to destinations in USA & Canada under Phase 3 of the Mission from 11-30 June 2020.@MEAIndia @MoCA_GoI @PIB_India
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) June 1, 2020
I yesterday wrote about how Air India was planning to go daily with their flights to the USA and back. Today, we have confirmed information about all the flights that Air India is planning to various countries for their flights. Air India will allow the following people to fly on flights:
- Citizens of that country, who have a green card or OCI card
- Indian Nationals who are holding visa of that country, with a minimum residual validity of the three months.
- In case an Indian National is having confirmed offer of employment/internship/admission in an educational institution, he/she can be allowed with visa of that country, with a minimum residual validity of one month.
Here are the flights that will be coming up to fly from India. Air India’s website says outbound bookings to the US / UK / France / Germany / Australia / Italy (Rome) / Bangladesh / Indonesia / Canada / Jordan / New Zealand / Sweden and Singapore.
Flights from India to the USA
Flights from India to Canada
Flights from India to Western Europe and the Nordics
Flights from India to Australia and New Zealand
Flights from India to Asian destinations
Air India’s Twitter tells us these flights should be up for sale from June 5, 2020, at 5 PM IST.
Also, with domestic flights now open, it should be easier for you to make it to Delhi or Mumbai to take a flight to the USA. If you don’t get a flight to your desired destination, just take one available and book a connection inside the USA. Just remember, one can fly to the USA with a remaining visa validity of 3 months only here on, not one year.
This is excellent news for people who want to fly between India and North America. I assume flights have been scaled up because North America loads are higher, and also the rest of the world can be covered with the 787s (Europe, Asia, Australia). Also, while commercial aviation is closed at the moment to international airlines, Air India will be able to ask for a price and get it, from those who are desperate to get back home from their outposts in India.
Do you think there will be enough seats available on Air India’s next round of flights to keep everyone happy?
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