The Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri has announced that Phase Three of the reparation flights will take place from 11 June to 30 June.
Unfortunately for those stranded in Australia, at this stage there is no official announcement for flights for them, although flights from Canada and USA are scheduled.
Air India will operate 70 flights in USA and Canada to bring Indian citizens home.
It is anticipated that flights from Australia will be scheduled in the third week and like in Phase One will go to different destinations in India, ensuring maximum reach for the passengers. Phase One saw seven flights – three from Sydney and four from Melbourne which all touched Delhi but then flew on to Amritsar, Chennai, Ahmedabad etc. These flights occurred when India was in a strict lockdown.
But this time, it is expected that the state governments’ rules in India will also factor into the local travel of the returning Indian residents. For example, Delhi now allows for seven days of quarantine at a local hotel and then there is flexibility to self-quarantine at home. Likewise, domestic flights also allow for more options of those selected to travel back.
In Australia, it is expected that those who had registered for Phase One and were not successful will still be considered for the next phase. Expect an announcement from the Indian High Commission for registration to open for those wanting to be considered for the next phase. As before, those with compelling reasons will be given preference. It is expected that there may be less pressure on applications from students who now may prefer to stay on in Australia as they settle into online study and as indications come in of universities opening up in the next 3-4 months.
One request to those registering is to give some thought of their willingness and ability to take the Vande Bharat flights, should they be selected.
In Phase One, it was frustrating to the officials that a number of those who were shortlisted, not only took time to finalise their decision but also then withdrew their application. This then shortened the window for the next person selected and put pressure on all.
“Being clear about their intentions should they receive a call from the High Commission, will allow us all to work better for all,” an informed source told Indian Link.
Over 57,000 Indian citizens around the globe have returned to India on flights which started on 6 May.
More details will be revealed as they come on hand. Travellers are urged to follow closely the official Indian government websites for more details.