Dubai: The Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor on Monday said the first two flights from the UAE to India on Thursday would take applicants from Kerala, who formed the majority of Indians who registered to fly home from UAE.
He was speaking to Gulf News after the Indian government announced plans to begin a phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7.
“The missions have prioritised the list of passengers and have given it to Air India. We would call and email each passenger to contact Air India to get their tickets issued. The first two flights on Thursday would be to Kerala, considering the high number of applicants from the state,” Kapoor said.
He said the priority list includes blue collar workers in distress, people with medical emergencies, including the elderly and pregnant women, and those who have lost jobs.
Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul said stranded visit/tourist visa holders and those with cancelled visas would also be given preference in returning home. Nearly 20 Indians who were stranded at Dubai Airport would also be given priority.
The Consul General added that there could be a random selection of applicants later on if there are restrictions on the number of applicants in the following phases.
In a press release issued around 10pm on Monday, the Indian Consulate said one flight will operate from Abu Dhabi to Kochi and the other from Dubai to Kozhikode.
“The passenger lists for both these flights will be finalized by the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India, Dubai on the basis of registrations in the Embassy/Consulate database for this purpose launched a few days back,” it said.
The missions are contacting the people on the passenger lists directly through email/telephone.
“The cost of the tickets and other conditions, for travel including quarantine requirements after reaching India, and health requirements to board the flight will be conveyed in due course and will have to be accepted by each passenger. Air tickets will only be issued to those on the passenger lists prepared by the Embassy/Consulate.”
The missions said they will also be conveying the details of further flights to different destinations in India in the coming days.
The process for finalisation of the passenger lists for other flights will remain the same.
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The missions sought patience and cooperation from applicants “as the government of India undertakes the massive task of repatriation of Indian nationals.”
“Given that the Embassy/Consulate have received almost 200,000 registrations for travelling back, it will take time for all people to be accommodated on these flights. It is also requested that given the social distancing norms under Covid-19 visits to the Embassy/Consulate should be avoided,” the release
Ending weeks of uncertainty over the return of Indian citizens stranded in the UAE and elsewhere, the Indian Government on Monday announced the details of its mega plan for phased repatriation from May 7.
“The Government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner. The travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships. The Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) has been prepared in this regard,” the government announced in a press release.