Over 51 lakh people have travelled under the Vande Bharat Mission: Civil Aviation Minister
Phase 9 of the Vande Bharat Mission repatriation exercise launched on May 6, 2020 has been operational since January 1 this year
The massive Vande Bharat Mission repatriation exercise which was launched on May 6, 2020 has facilitated the travel of over 51 lakh people through different modes of transport, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Sunday.
"Vande Bharat Mission, the world's largest repatriation mission continues to soar. More than 51.8 lakh people facilitated since 6 May 2020. 24 air bubbles in place. We are reaching out to the distressed & stranded around the world," Puri said on Twitter.
Vande Bharat Mission, the world's largest repatriation mission continues to soar.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 31, 2021
More than 51.8 lakh people facilitated since 6 May 2020.
24 air bubbles in place.
We are reaching out to the distressed & stranded around the world. pic.twitter.com/oRUvIvOfTV
According to figures released by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, 8,994 people returned to India from cities across the world on Saturday.
Phase 9 of the Vande Bharat Mission has been operational since January 1 this year.
Addressing the weekly media briefing on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said over 1,300 international flights had been operated from 27 countries during this phase. "These flights have facilitated the return to India of an estimated 2.53 lakh people," he said.
While the majority of Indian nationals who were stranded in countries around the world due to COVID-19 travel restrictions have returned in flights, a number of people from neighbouring countries have also used land routes to enter India.
The Indian Navy had also carried out Operation Samudra Setu, using its ships to bring back Indians from ports in neighbouring countries, as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.
While commercial international flights are still not allowed, India has entered into bilateral air bubble arrangements with 24 countries which allows flights between select cities in these countries.