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What is Vande Bharat mission?
Last week, an Air India plane, under the Vande Bharat Mission, evacuated 240 Indians
before the Ukrainian airspace was shut for air traffic. Here’s what you should know
about Vande Bharat Mission
On February 18th, Air India announced that it would operate three
flights between India and Ukraine on 22nd, 24th and 26th under
the Vande Bharat Mission to help Indian citizens fly back home.
The second special Air India flight turned back mid-air in the
morning hours of February 24 after Ukraine closed its airspace
due to Russian invasion. While the government is devising
alternate plans to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine, let us
take a look at the Vande Bharat Mission.
Immediately after the outbreak of Coronavirus in 2020, India’s
aviation regulator, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation
(DGCA), had suspended all commercial international flights in
March of that year. This restriction has been extended till February
28, 2022. Most of the other countries had also suspended the
flights to check the disease. However, a large number of requests
were received from Indian nationals abroad for repatriation. In
response, the government had commenced operation under
the Vande Bharat Mission on May 7, 2020 to facilitate return of
stranded Indian nationals abroad in a phased manner.