Indian citizens, US permanent residents, OIC card holders eligible to take U.S. bound Air India flights.
India plans to operate 149 more flights, including seven to the U.S., to bring back Indians stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic in the second phase of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ from Sunday.
In the first phase of India’s biggest ever evacuation exercise, which began on May 7, over 12,000 Indian citizens have been brought back from 12 countries on 56 flights, according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
In the second phase of the mission, India’s national carrier Air India will bring back Indians from 31 countries. Till now, 188,646 Indian nationals have registered to return.
Additional 18 countries to be covered under the second phase include Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Japan, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Krgyzstan, Belarus, Georgia, Tajikistan and Armenia.
As before, Indian citizens, U.S. permanent residents, Overseas Citizen of India (OIC) card holders and other US persons are eligible to fly out on flights to pick up Indian citizens abroad.
There will be two flights each to San Francisco, New York and Chicago and one to Washington. There is no restriction for Indian Passport holders who are holding valid visas for US, according to Air India.
However, passengers who have transited or have been in certain countries in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the United States.
Indian citizens seeking to travel on outbound Air India flights to the US, on the basis of their F1 visas, for higher studies may not be able to go the U.S. on the current Air India repatriation flights under Mission Vande Bharat if their F or M category visa has less than 6 months validity from the date of planned departure, it said.
In new admission cases, students who have not as yet joined their educational institution before the covid-19 outbreak too would not be allowed
Air India advised newly admitted students for the 2020 fall term in U.S. educational institutions to consider deferring travel to the U.S. to a date closer to the opening date of their institution, subject to local public health conditions.
In the case of continuing students, who are making normal progress in their course of study, and may have left the U.S. to visit India before India’s Lockdown commenced, must check with their Designated School Officials to confirm the school’s operational status, it said.
Alternatively, they may obtain guidance on the School’s policy for foreign students returning to the U.S.
In such cases, students may only attempt to travel to the U.S. with written documentary confirmation that the School is open.
Without such documentation, even if continuing students have valid F or M visas, they may not be permitted to board an outbound flight, Air India said.
This is necessary, the airline said, as some schools may not currently allow returning students to return to campus for an extended period of time.
Here is the Air India Evacuation flights schedule (in local time):
FLIGHTS FROM INDIA
|18-May||AI 0173||DELHI||SAN FRANCISCO||3:30|
|19-May||AI 0101||DELHI||NEW YORK||5:10|
|22-May||AI 0173||DELHI||SAN FRANCISCO||3:30|
|23-May||AI 0101||DELHI||NEW YORK||5:10|
FLIGHTS FROM THE U.S.
|21-May||AI 0174||SAN FRANCISCO||DELHI||3:30|
|22-May||AI 0102||NEW YORK||DELHI||10:30|
|25-May||AI 0174||SAN FRANCISCO||DELHI||3:30|
|26-May||AI 0102||NEW YORK||DELHI||10:30|