Phase 4 of the Indian government's Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) got underway on Tuesday with the departure of flights for Lucknow and Mumbai.
The Indian embassy had recently released a list of 51 flights that would be operated in Part 1 of the fourth phase of VBM to take stranded Indians back home.
Tuesday, flight 6E 8715 took off from Hamad International Airport (HIA) for Lucknow with 212 passengers and an infant. Later, 6E 8717 left for Mumbai with 210 passengers and four infants, including 43 stranded Indians from Bogota (Colombia) and Caracas (Venezuela).
These were the 51st and 52nd flights from Doha under VBM, respectively, "bringing the total number of repatriated passengers to 9,126 plus 245 infants", the embassy tweeted.
To be operated by IndiGo, the repatriation flights in Part 1 of Phase 4 will travel to Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kannur and Kozhikode between July 7 and 23, according to the embassy.
The list includes 12 flights to Kochi, followed by eight each to Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Kozhikode, and three each to Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru.
“Please book seats on these flights directly online (IndiGo website), with your EOID number,” the embassy had said in a tweet on Monday. It also urged people seeking repatriation on Vande Bharat Mission flights to book tickets online “only for destinations in their home state to minimise inconvenience.”
More flights to other destinations are coming up, the embassy added. “Please do not book tickets on connecting flights along with VBM flights, as you have to complete quarantine at the point of arrival,” it stressed.
On its part, IndiGo had stressed in a tweet that Indian nationals seeking repatriation from Doha to India must register on the embassy’s website before booking via the airline’s website. Besides VBM, thousands of Indians have also been repatriated on chartered flights hired by companies and community organisations.