Vande Bharat - Air India

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many countries to close their borders, India left many of its own citizens stranded abroad closing its borders to even its own citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Indian nationals are stranded overseas awaiting Indian government to allow them to be flown home. And Air India has finally announced mission ‘Vande Bharat’ to evacuate stranded Indians from abroad amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

And to allow eligible foreigners or NRIs and OCI card holders stranded in India, the airline will allow them to leave India subject to certain conditions (see below).

And for them, the Indian carrier opened bookings London, Singapore and select destinations in the United States on flights operating between May 8 to May 14.

“We would like to inform all those who wish to travel from India to London, Singapore and select destinations in the USA on Air India flights operating between May 8 and May 14… Passengers are requested to read the eligibility criteria carefully as available on the link and proceed further for booking only if they meet the same,” the Air India statement read.

The first three of 64 flights organized under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission will ply from Kochi to Abu Dhabi, Delhi to Singapore and Calicut to Dubai on Thursday, May 8. All of the 64 ferry services will be operated by the airline and its subsidiary Air India Express from May 8-14.

The airline is testing all its pilots and crew members for Covid-19 and will fly only those who are well and not carrying the COVID-19 virus.

As per the Union Ministry of Home Affairs directive, a person who –

– has an OCI card, or
– has held the citizenship of a foreign country, or

–  held a valid visa of more than one year of that country, or

– had the green card of that country,

can travel on the repatriation flight leaving India under the Vande Bharat mission.

Air India website draw to the attention of those outgoing passengers who plan to book – the following eligibility criteria:

  • Such passengers can be
  • Nationals of the destination countries.
  • Indian and foreign nationals who hold valid VISA of at least one year duration of the country of destination.
  • Green Card / OCI Card holders
  • The entire cost of travel will be borne by the passenger
  • Before purchasing the tickets , such persons are required to recheck their eligibility for travel by referring to the conditions on the respective countries regulatory website
  • The passenger must ensure that they comply with all travel and health requirements of the country of destination
  • At the time of boarding the flight , passengers will have to undergo thermal screening as per health protocol. Only asymptomatic travellers would be allowed to board the flight
  • Passengers have to undertake to directly bear the entire cost towards Quarantine charges at the time of arrival at the destination.
  • MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) guidelines.
  • Passengers will be travelling on these flights at their own risk.
  • Passengers have to undertake that in case of deportation, the entire cost towards deportation penalty, return fare and cost of Quarantine will be borne by the passenger.
  • For details of Undertakings required
  • Undertaking – Risk of Travel & Quarantine Cost.CLICK HERE
  • Undertaking – Deportation Charges CLICK HERE
  • Disclaimer: It is the sole responsibility of the passenger to ensure his/her eligibility to enter the destination country. Air India accepts no liability in this regard.

All those desirous of booking to travel ex-India on ‘Vande Bharat’ mission flights must agree to the above terms and conditions.

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