Vande Bharat becomes one of top civilian evacuations



Vande Bharat Mission 

  •  Vande Bharat Mission is the biggest evacuation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions. 
  • It is also considered the largest exercise to bring back Indian citizens since the evacuation of 177,000 from the Gulf region in the early 1990s at the start of hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War. 
  • The mission has given priority to Indian citizens with “compelling reasons to return" - like those whose employment have been terminated, those whose visas have expired and not expected to be renewed under the present circumstances, and those who have lost family members in recent times. 
  •  Under the repatriation plan, the government will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner. 
  •  Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express will operate 64 flights to bring back stranded Indians from 12 countries. 
  • The entire cost of travel will be borne by the passengers under the mission. 

Operation Samudra Setu 

  • The program named Samudra Setu by Indian navy entails to bring back around two thousand Indians in two ships during the first phase of evacuation. 
  •  INS Jalashwa and INS Magar are being operated as part of efforts to repatriate Indian nationals from foreign shores. 

News info:

 The Vande Bharat Mission (VBM), which started repatriating Indians stranded abroad due to COVID-19 and the resultant lockdowns since May 7 last, has turned out to be one of the largest evacuations of civilians by a country. 

Important  points 

  • Into the middle of Phase 10, the VBM has surpassed the large-scale airlift of 1,10,000 people in 1990 at the onset of the Gulf War. 
  • Till now, the Air India (AI) Group has operated 11,523 inbound flights to carry 18,19,734 passengers and 11,528 outbound flights with 13,68,457 passengers. 
  •  The national carrier, which carried out the bulk of air transfers under the mission, was supported by its budget carrier Air India Express. 

Patronage drops 

  •  The first phase of the VBM, which lasted 11 days from May 7 to 17, was aimed at destinations with high concentration of Indians. 
  •  As many as 64 inbound and outbound flights each were operated by the AI group to carry 12,708 and 3,562 passengers, respectively. 
  • The lengthiest was VBM VI and VII lasting 61 days each. 
  •  The current VBM Phase 10 has international and domestic schedules operating till October 31. 
  • Of these, 373 are international flights from the country and another 376 are flights from abroad. 
  • Patronage has come down in the VBM flights these days as there is a spurt in COVID-19 cases in India and many other countries of late. 

Cargo only flights 

  • Air India Express (AIE) used its B-737-800 fleet to lift agricultural produce, mainly fruits and vegetables, to West Asian countries, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. 
  •  The airline also chartered some of the 24 flights on its fleet as “cargo-only flights” to ship fruits and vegetables, the most sought-after items among the NRIs. 
  •  Besides helping rural farmers and the NRIs, the aim was to keep the supply chain intact. 
  • “Transport bubbles” or “air travel arrangements”, temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the pandemic, are in place. 

Reciprocal benefits 

  •  As it is reciprocal in nature, airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits. 
  •  Such arrangements had been established with Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the U.K., the U.S. and Uzbekistan. 



Print Friendly and PDF
blog comments powered by Disqus