MUSCAT: Around 5,000 stranded Indians in Oman have been flown home to India since the coronavirus ‘Vande Bharat’ repatriation flight began on May 7, a senior Indian embassy official said on Sunday.
The last flight of phase 2+ left from Muscat to Chennai carrying 146 passengers on Sunday afternoon.
The Indian government operated 39 special Air India and Air India Express flights while two were chartered by Oman-based KMCC and ICF — NGOs to fly home the stranded citizens. KMCC used SalamAir, while ICF took IndiGo to transport Indian nationals.
Indian Embassy in Muscat announced 14 new repatriation flights of which eight flights are to Kerala. “As per the list, the majority of those registered are from Kerala and that is why we have more flights there,” said the embassy official.
Thousands of stranded Indians are still waiting for more repatriation flights with those from different states like Mumbai appealing for early repatriation. “There is only one flight to Mumbai in the new list. There are so many who want to travel from here and we request the embassy and the government to arrange more flights to ensure the deserving passengers get an early ticket to fly,” said Akash Patil, a Muscat based Engineer.
However, Indian Embassy has asked its citizens to stay calm as more flights are on the way. “We would like to request our citizens to be calm there will be more flights and the deserving ones get the ticket,” he added.