Indian nationals, African seafarers repatriated | 24 June 2020
Some Indian nationals and African seafarers stranded in Seychelles since there are no commercial flights as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have been flown home.
There were, in fact, three repatriation flights yesterday.
Air Seychelles had two flights to Nairobi, Kenya to transfer African seafarers working on Spanish fishing vessels.
The third flight was by Air India which repatriated Indian nationals stranded in Seychelles.
Indian high commissioner to Seychelles, H.E. General Dalbir Singh Suhag, interacted with the Indian nationals leaving Seychelles and addressed some of their important concerns about the journey, the different state regulations, social distancing norms etc.
The flight was organised by the Indian government as part of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ operated by Air India. The aircraft carrying 178 persons including eight women, four children and six patients needing further treatment in India, left Seychelles at 3.38pm and has Mumbai as the feeder point and New Delhi as the final destination.
Seychelles is covered as part of phase-III of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ operations. The second flight as part of this mission in Seychelles is scheduled to operate on June 27, 2020 having Mumbai as the feeder point and Chennai as the final destination.
The registration link for the repatriation flight AI1993 bound for Chennai/Mumbai is now open and registrations can be made at the following link: https://forms.gle/GvhgmityRuonjsv4A
The ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, is a government of India initiative to undertake the largest ever repatriation from all over the world for return of Indian nationals stranded in different parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this and also operation '#SamudraSetu', more than 1.2 lakh people have already been brought back to India through a mix of non-scheduled commercial flights, ships and cross-border bus services.
In Seychelles, the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ operations cover the international airports in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and shall cater to the repatriation of stranded Indians to all the different parts of the country by working on Hub & Spoke model with Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai as hubs and all the other cities as Spokes.
The departure timing for the next VBM flight is as follows: June 27, 2020: AI 1994 Seychelles to Mumbai/Chennai (Departure time: 13:50 hrs).
Passengers shall bear the cost of travel by the flight as well as for mandatory quarantine facilities on arrival in India. It is requested that passengers carry masks and other protection kits before boarding the flight and also download Arogya Setu App and activate it upon landing in India. Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flight.
Compiled by Gerard Govinden