India launches sixth batch of repatriation flights from Gulf

Indian consulate in Dubai scraps registration process for travellers headed home

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Another series of repatriation flights for Indian citizens in the Gulf will begin on Tuesday.

Indian residents in the UAE planning to return home are no longer required to register on the website set up by the consulate in Dubai.

On Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs said the sixth batch of flights were scheduled after the Indian government ruled out any imminent resumption of regular commercial international services.

They will repatriate Indian citizens who wish to return home from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar throughout September.

The Indian government has been operating repatriation flights for its citizens since the outbreak, to bring back people who have lost jobs abroad or wish to return home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is no restriction from the Indian side for any traveller to come to UAE from India, nor there is any registration process for people travelling from India to UAE

Under the mission, called Vande Barahat, or Salute India, more than 1.2 million Indians have been repatriated from all over the globe, officials said.

Hundreds of thousands of those passengers have flown from the Emirates thanks to the joint efforts of authorities from both nations.

"Phase 6 of Vande Bharat Mission is scheduled to begin on September 1," said Anurag Srivastava, spokesman for the ministry.

"Based on an assessment of demand by our missions and posts abroad, flights are being scheduled by Air India Group and private carriers."

Mr Srivastava said flights would now also operate from Kuwait.

"In addition, the number of flights from other GCC countries has been further augmented," he said.

The Indian Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, said negotiations on air travel arrangements with 18 more countries were continuing.

"This will benefit stranded Indians and nationals of these countries," Mr Puri said.

Previously, Indian residents in the UAE who wanted to be repatriated would have to register details of their passport and the city they wished to travel to before heading back to India.

About 370,000 Indians have left the UAE for India from the more than 600,000 who signed up for repatriation in May.

The Indian consulate in Dubai said on Tuesday that it had scrapped the registration process since India and the UAE would continue the “air bubble agreement.'

The consulate said since a number of flights were being operated by both UAE and Indian carriers and tickets were available online.

Travellers to India were reminded to complete a PCR Covid-19 test and upload it to the Air Suvidha portal at to be exempt from quarantine at all airports in India.

The PCR swab test was not mandatory but highly recommended, the consulate said.

People travelling from India to the Emirates were advised to follow guidelines issued by the UAE government, including the mandatory PCR test and getting approval from immigration authorities if needed.

Travellers on visit visa require travel and health insurance for the length of their stay in the Emirates.

“There is no restriction from the Indian side for any traveller to come to UAE from India, nor there is any registration process for people travelling from India to UAE,” the consulate said.

On Monday, Air India announced its tentative schedule for Vande Bharat Phase 6 flights from Dubai, Bahrain and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from September 1 until October 24.

And Air India Express announced its tentative schedule from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait and Doha for September.