Hyderabad: Air India has brought home 3,10,415 Indians stranded in foreign countries till August 9, as part of the central government’s Vande Bharat Mission. Of them, 45,000 people landed at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA).

In the first four phases of the mission that was launched on May 7, when the country was under lockdown, Air India operated 1,677 flights and brought back 3,10,415 Indians stranded abroad. In the ongoing fifth phase, which was initiated on August 1, 166 Air India flights have brought back 29,593 citizens, sources told NewsMeter. In the current phase, inbound and outbound flights will operate till the end of the month.

With regard to foreign nationals stranded in India, 52,575 were flown back to their home countries in the first four phases of the Mission,
while 15,954 more international citizens were sent home in the ongoing phase. A total of 1,672 outbound flights operated under the Mission.

August 11 (7) Source: Air India

Meanwhile, international flights landed at RGIA that brought back Indians from the US, Russia, UK, and several south Asian, African, middle-eastern and central Asian countries. Apart from Vande Bharat Mission flights, the RGIA saw more flights operating once the domestic services were resumed.

With strict adherence to ICMR guidelines, the RGIA has been able to send domestic flights to 40 destinations daily.

NewsMeter found that thermal scanning at the entry and exit points, baggage sanitisation, contact-less check-in and ensuring physical distancing by dividing people into groups were being followed by the authorities of the Hyderabad airport.

The domestic operations at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport resumed on May 25. From 40 air traffic movements on the first day, currently, RGIA is handling an average of around 120 air traffic movements (60 departures and 60 arrivals) daily, according to the source.

According to the officials, the passenger movement has also increased substantially. The Hyderabad International airport has witnessed more than 5 times growth in daily passenger footfall from around 3,000 domestic passenger footfall (arrivals and departures) during first few weeks starting 25th May (the day of the recommencement of domestic operations) to around 15,000 passengers in July 2020.

The airport has also seen more than four times growth in daily domestic Air Traffic Movement from around 40 domestic air traffic movement (arrivals and departures) during first few weeks starting 25th May to around 160+ domestic Air Traffic Movement in July 2020.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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