Vande Bharat Mission: Air India’s first rescue flight heads to Singapore


New Delhi: National passenger carrier Air India on Thursday operated its first evacuation flights under India’s “Vande Bharat Mission” from New Delhi to Singapore.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft departed the national capital’s IGI Airport around 11.30 p.m. The return flight is expected to reach back to New Delhi at 11.30 a.m. on Friday.

As per schedule, the flight has ferried 14 passengers to Singapore.

Besides Air India, its subsidiary Air India Express operated two flights from Kerala to Gulf on Thursday. Air India Express operated the Cochin-Abu Dhabi-Cochin and Kozhikode-Dubai-Kozhikode service.

These are the first in the 64 ferry services which will be operated by the two airlines from May 7-13.

Besides the one-way ferry service, Air India has also invited passengers, who qualify under the government’s new international travel norms to apply for passage from India to various destinations the airline will send its aircraft to conduct evacuation flights.

India has commenced one of the world’s largest air evacuation operations from May 7, when the two airlines will start the first phase of the mission.

As per plans, these two airlines will operate 64 flights in seven days to bring back 14,800 stranded Indians from 12 countries. Overall, more than 190,000 Indian nationals, who would have to pay a one-way ferry service charge, are expected to be brought back in the airlift operation.