Muscat: More than 650 Indian nationals departed Oman this weekend, on board four flights that had been organised as part of the Vande Bharat mission to repatriate Indians stranded overseas due to COVID-19.
Three flights departed Muscat on May 30: 153 passengers flew to Jaipur, 154 to Ahmedabad, and 180 to Thiruvananthapuram. A Muscat – Kochi repatriation flight flew out on Friday evening with 177 passengers and four infants on board.
On Thursday, two more flights departed: one from Salalah to Kannur with 177 passengers and 14 infants, and another 177 passengers and four infants on board a Muscat – Calicut flight.
Jamshed, who was travelling to Kochi with his mother, was happy to have been accommodated on this flight, which had been organised by the Embassy of India in Muscat and Air India, the country’s national carrier.
“We got the opportunity to travel through the Indian embassy,” he said.
“We thank the Indian embassy and the government for the support they gave us. Since she is not able to walk unassisted, the wheelchair facility was also provided.”
Deepa, who is employed at a hospital in Ibri, was able to secure a last-minute seat along with her husband on the Muscat – Kochi flight, after hearing of a family bereavement back home.
“We have come here all the way from Ibri, where we work in a hospital,” said her husband.
“Her father has expired, so for her to go home, the officers at the Indian embassy in Muscat have done a lot to help her. I would like to thank everyone at the Indian embassy and the government of India for their efforts.”
Nine more flights have been scheduled between today and 7 June, as part of the continuation of the Vande Bharat mission.
Consecutive flights will take off from Salalah to Kannur on 31 May and 1 June, while a Muscat – Kozhikode plane will also take off on the 1st.
Another repatriation flight headed to Srinagar will take off from Muscat on 2 June. Two more flights will take off from the capital on 3 June, their final destinations being Bhubhaneswar and Kannur.
Two more destinations in Kerala have been scheduled for the 4th of June – Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
On 7 June, a repatriation flight from Muscat will take off for Chennai.