Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS) Four evacuation flights of national carrier Air India and its subsidiary landed in the city airport, with about 700 overseas returnees to Karnataka from Jakarta, Singapore, Melbourne and Dubai, an official said on Saturday.
“Three evacuation flights of Air India and one of Air India Express landed at the Kemegowda international airport on the city’s northern outskirts safely, with about 700 passengers from Jakarta in Indonesia, Singapore, Melbourne in Australia and Dubai in the UAE,” the official told IANS here.
While the flight from Jakarta via Mumbai arrived earlier in the day, three other flights from Singapore, Melbourne via New Delhi and Dubai came in the night.
The state-run airline, however, did not share the flight details to reveal how many passengers flew in each aircraft, including men and women.
Flights from Jakarta and Melbourne have landed in the city for the first time, while those from Singapore and Dubai have flown in earlier too.
“The passengers’ profile indicated they were distressed workers, students, tourists, pilgrims, pregnant women, elderly persons and children who were stranded in various countries for over two months since overseas flights were suspended on March 23 and lockdown was extended from March 25 to May 31 to contain the coronavirus spread,” the official noted.
As per the standard operating procedure and guidelines of the state health department, all the passengers were screened with thermal device and tested to ensure they were asymptomatic before leaving the airport,” a nodal officer said.
The returnees were given a spare mask to wear all the time and a sanitiser to wash their hands.
“The luggage of all passengers were screened and disinfected before handing over to them after they completed formalities such as filling the self-declaration form and downloading of the Quarantine App for contact tracing later, said the official.
The passengers were ferried from the airport in state-run buses in batches for 14-day institutional quarantine in hotels and resorts across the city.
Seven flights have earlier flown in with about 800 returnees till May 22 under the Vande Bharat mission’s second phase to Bengaluru and Mangaluru on the state’s west coast from Dubai in the UAE, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Muscat in Oman, Dammam in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, Male in Maldives and San Francisco in the US west coast.
The remaining flights to Karnataka will land in Bengaluru and Mangaluru over the next 10 days till June 3 from 6-7 more destinations the world over.
In the first phase of the mission from May 7-17, the airline and its arm flew 6 flights to the state from May 11-15, bringing in 800 passengers, including 623 to Bengaluru and 177 to Mangaluru from London, Singapore, San Francisco and Dubai.