IndiGo, one of the largest airlines in India, has received permission from the government to operate 97 repatriation flights between Kerala and four Middle East countries; Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.
Hundreds of thousands of Indians have found themselves stranded abroad since the coronavirus outbreak began and it is therefore no surprise that demand for flights returning home has outstripped supply. Nearly 60,000 people registered for the flights from Saudi Arabia and over 200,000 from the UAE. As numbers continued to rise, India was forced to prioritize those with compelling reasons.
Until two days ago, the only airline involved in repatriation efforts was the state-owned Air India. Recognising the overwhelming demand, the government have now decided to allow private carriers to assist with the endeavour which should also help those airlines struggling financially.
IndiGo has been allocated 97 of the total 180 repatriation flights. They will fly 36 flights from Saudi Arabia, 28 from Doha, 23 from Kuwait, and 10 from Muscat.
Other airlines will also contribute to the effort and with IndiGo not flying to the UAE, the country with the most registered interest in the flights, it remains to be seen which carrier will operate this route.
Airlines in India have also been given a boost this week with domestic services set to resume for the first time in two months.
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