Air India had yesterday announced that it will be operating ten additional flights to the USA between June 20th and July 3rd. The flights will be a part of phase three of Air India’s Vande Bharat mission. As per the plan, four flights will be flown to each of New York and Washington and one each to San Francisco and Chicago. The bookings for all of these flights will open today at 18:00 (IST) on Air India’s website.
The flag carrier of India made shared the news in a Twitter post. Vande Bharat mission, also known as the world’s biggest repatriation effort, started on May 6th. Since then, Air India has operated hundreds of flights to various international destinations and helped in the repatriation of more than 80,000 Indians. At the same time, as many as 20,000 International citizens stuck in India have returned home in these flights.
There is still a lot left to do
Until June 1st, Air India had operated more than 420 flights solely for repatriation purposes. Many of these destinations were the ones that Air India had never flown to before. However, given the large Indian population abroad, there is still much left to do.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many Indians either lost their jobs or got stuck in the United States. Indians are also one of the biggest contributors to the international student population in the United States. Since the beginning of the repatriation flights, Air India has received thousands of complaints regarding the insufficient number of flights being operated to the country.
As a result of this, Air India has firmly focused on the North American cities in the third phase of its mission. It will fly to all destinations it used to fly before the flight restrictions in the continent were initiated.
Phase three schedule and plan
In total, around 140 flights will be flown to/from five destinations in the United States and two in Canada. Chicago and Toronto will see the most number of flights starting on June 12th. As many as 19 outbound flights will be flown on each of Delhi-Chicago and Delhi-Toronto routes. Both these services will be operated using Air India’s B777-300ER.
Moreover, the airline will use its B777-200LR to fly 18 flights between Delhi and San Francisco. This service will be extended to Bangalore, to connect the two major IT hubs of the respective countries. New York, which saw a large number of flights in the last phase, will only be served three times. The neighboring city of Newark will receive five non-stop flights from Mumbai.
Additionally, the capital city of Washington, D.C., will be served four times non-stop from New Delhi. B787 will be used on this route. On the brighter side, Air India will fly twice to Vancouver, which is not one of its existing destinations. This move represents the fact that the airline is making efforts to fly to all the places with high passenger demand.
Have you recently flown on a repatriation flight? Let us know about your experience in the comments.