Indians stranded in the UK and the US USA They could return to India on charter flights in late May

LONDON: Indian citizens and PIOs stranded in the UK and the US USA Those who want to return to India will be airlifted again on charter flights as soon as flight operations to rescue stranded Indians are completed, according to senior Indian sources. Flights are not likely to begin until May 25.

Already 9,000 stranded PIOs, mainly Indian citizens who are students and tourists, but also some PIOs with emergencies in India, who wish to return, have recorded their details online with the Indian high commission here, and 22,000 PIOs in the US. The USA, including Indian professionals and students, have registered their desire to return. But the Indian government expects those numbers to rise once charter flights are announced.

The MEA has spoken to all states to verify that they have quarantine facilities for 14 days for these incoming passengers, and they do, the source told TOI. We start with the Gulf because there are many Indian workers there and they don't have money and the Gulf countries have stopped giving them food and even basic facilities. The Gulf is closed and it is also Ramadan, so they want to come. The first priority is to start Gulf flights. We are airlifting 33,000 Indians from the Gulf alone. After the Gulf, the United Kingdom and the United States will begin in phase 2, which will be around the end of May.

Charter flights from the UK will depart from, Heathrow and There could be up to three flights a day. Currently, flights from the United Kingdom and the United States are all with Air india but in the Gulf they are using other airlines as well. The US flights will be 14-hour direct flights with Air india. I think it will be easily managed. It is not confirmed how the India n government plans to do it and whether tickets will be charged for or not. As soon as we announce the flights there will be a rush. We have a huge number that need to go back.

He added: The government has said there will be no scheduled domestic or international passenger flights until May 17. India is not ready for international flights to start when half the world is in crisis. They will review it on May 17, he added. .

PIOs with emergencies in India or with the death of their families will be prioritized on the first charter flights. There are currently 54 such cases of emergency in the UK. They include an Indian woman and her two children whose husband, a computer contractor, committed suicide in Slough. She wants to fly her body back to Bangalore, where her father lives. While the body can now be returned, she and her children, like all stranded Indians, cannot travel, so her plans to perform her last rites in India are in limbo until charter flights begin.