Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: More than 50,000 Indians repatriated from Ras Al Khaimah since June

Nearly 400,000 Indians have left the UAE for India since repatriation flights started in May

Ras Al Khaimah has helped repatriate 53,000 Indians since June, officials said on Wednesday.

These Indian citizens left the UAE at the end of their employment contracts.

The repatriation operations were carried out by the Indian Government and Indian airline SpiceJet.

Nearly 300 special charter flights helped fly people to 21 destinations across India.

The Emirate is a longstanding friend of the Indian government and its people and we are always ready to help

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah authorities paid for the transport cost to the airport to help the returning passengers.

“The UAE is sparing no effort to ensure the safety and well-being of all its people and Ras Al Khaimah is part of the country’s drive to be at the forefront of the global response to this pandemic,” said Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

“The Emirate is a longstanding friend of the Indian government and its people and we are always ready to help.

“With this in mind, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport has been playing an important role in the Indian government’s initiative to repatriate its citizens.

“SpiceJet and our airport staff have shown great dedication in their work and for this, I am truly grateful,” he said.

Sanjay Khanna, chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, said that the operations will continue to help Indians reunite with their families back home.

“As soon as this pandemic struck, we worked with Ras Al Khaimah Airport [officials] to [start] dedicated flights to help stranded workers return home,” said Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet.

Nearly 400,000 Indians have left the UAE for India since repatriation flights started in May.

More than 600,000 signed up to return amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Indian officials have said not all those returning home had lost jobs.

Several passengers were on expired visit visas or residents taking their annual vacation.

Indian residents in the Emirates no longer require to register with the consulate in Dubai and the embassy in Abu Dhabi but can book flights online.

Earlier, Indians in the UAE had to register details of their passport and their hometown with priority given to the elderly, pregnant women and workers who had lost their jobs.

The registration process has since been scrapped and Indians are now able to book flights operated by the UAE and Indian airlines after both countries reached an air bubble agreement to facilitate travel.

India shut down international air travel in March to slow down the spread of the coronavirus within its borders.

It resumed operations to a few countries including the UAE in May to bring back citizens who had lost jobs overseas or wished to return home.

Updated: September 23, 2020 01:48 PM

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