Evacuation of Indians stranded abroad faces slight delay

Ashwini Phadnis New Delhi | Updated on May 05, 2020 Published on May 05, 2020

Corona negative certificate for crew likely to delay first flight by a day

There will be a slight delay in operating the evacuation flights to bring back Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus. The flights will probably start on May 8 night, instead of on May 7.

This is due to the fact that some countries are insisting on Corona negative certificates for the crew, both operating the flights and those who are on the flights. This message was conveyed late in the evening to the top brass of Air India, which is to operate all the 64 flights to bring back 14,800 Indians stranded abroad in the first phase of the evacuation process.

If the process is started early on Wednesday morning and the crew tests negative after two days, then the first flight will be able to leave on May 8 night, sources indicated.

Air India now plans to get at least 3,000-odd crew to undergo the corona tests.

Also read: AI to operate 64 evacuation flights to bring back 14,800 Indians


Earlier in the afternoon, addressing the media, Hardeep Puri, Minister for Civil Aviation said during the first week of evacuation, which would last till around May 13, 15 flights from seven countries, carrying around 3,150 passengers will arrive in Kerala, 11 flights from nine countries carrying 2,150 passengers will land in Tamil Nadu, while seven flights from six countries will land in Telangana, carrying around 1750 passengers. Three flights from three countries will land in Karnataka, carrying 650 passengers. One flight from one country will land in Punjab and three flights from one country will also land in Jammu and Kashmir.

“These are not commercial flights. They are being operated to bring back Indians who are in distress --- people whose visas might have run out or who are being deported,” the Minister said in a video conference to announce the evacuation efforts. The Minister indicated that this was the first such attempt  being made to bring back Indians and when other such evacuation flights are mounted, the private sector could also be roped in. 

Those travelling on AI flights will be charged anything ranging from ₹100,000 for those coming from the US, while a passenger travelling from London to Mumbai are likely to be charged ₹ 50,000, and about ₹18,000 for those booked to travel from Singapore to Bengaluru. Those travelling from Dhaka to Delhi will be charged about ₹12,000.

Published on May 05, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!


Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.