Muscat: More than 50,000 Indians have been flown home on repatriation and charter flights that have been organised during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to figures shared by the Embassy of India in Muscat, 198 charter planes have been set up by companies and social organisations from Oman, taking home 35,000 Indian nationals.
Additionally, the Vande Bharat repatriation mission organised by the Government of India has seen another 17,000 Indians fly home on 97 flights.
The first Vande Bharat flight to Oman flew to Kochi on 9 May. 180 passengers, including four infants were on-board that plane.
Vande Bharat flights to Oman and other countries that have high concentration of Indian nationals living and working overseas are typically organised in phases. Phase five of the repatriation mission will begin on 6 August, 2020, and 19 flights have been allocated to Oman as part of this. Flights under this initiative are operated by Air India, the national carrier of the country.
“Passenger lists for all the above-mentioned flights will be finalised by the embassy on the basis of information received by it,” said a statement from the Indian embassy. “The embassy will be floating an online form for seeking confirmation of passengers to travel on a particular flight and then share the list of registered people with Air India.
“All such people will be contacted by Air India directly for booking of tickets,” they added. “The passengers, after registering on the online form, may also approach Air India offices in Ruwi and Wattayah (National Travels, General Sales Agent of Air India) directly to book tickets on first come first serve basis. However, priority will be given to medical emergency cases, pregnant women, workers in distress, senior citizens as well as to other Indian nationals who are stranded in difficult situations.”
The cost of tickets will have to be borne by the passengers themselves. All passengers are required to confirm acceptance of all conditions of travel, including quarantine requirements in India as well as health requirements in order to board the flight.