First Air India Express repatriation flight departs for Abu Dhabi, scheduled to return this evening

7 May, 2020 | newsx bureau

Vande Bharat Mission National

The first repatriation flight of Air India Express IX419 took off from Kerala to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon.

The first repatriation flight of Air India Express IX419 took off from Kochi in Kerala for Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, marking the Indian government’s biggest repatriation operation of Indian nationals stranded in the Gulf countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The repatriation flights of Air India Express from Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai are scheduled to return to Kochi and Kozhikode airports respectively in the evening today.

“These flights will land at 9:40 pm as per schedule. These two flights will mark the start of the historical repatriation process to bring back stranded Indians from the Gulf region,” AI Express Chief of Corporate communication told ANI.

The airlines will further continue its operation of repatriation flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Muscat, Bahrain, and the UAE as well.

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The airline has tied up vast arrangements for repatriation operations in the first week. Sixty pilots and 120 cabin crew members are deployed for the operation. Eight aircraft of Boeing 737/800 are also identified and positioned at various airports for the repatriation operations. Special arrangements have been made in the cockpit of the aircraft. The cabin crews have further been ordered to cover themselves with personal protective equipment (PPE) suits during the flight.

Before the take-off, passengers will be provided with two face masks, one 100 ml sanitizer bottle, a snack box, and a bottle of water at their respective seats. All the above items will be taken from airports in India. Further, Air India is also all set for the first special ferry flight from New Delhi to Singapore which is scheduled to leave the capital at 11:15 pm.