BENGALURU: The first of 35 flights to Kempegowda International Airport scheduled under the Vande Bharat Mission Phase-3 landed on Monday morning. The flights will land in Bengaluru between June 8 and July 1. Twenty of these will be from the US alone, with one each from Chicago (which arrived on Monday) and Los Angeles, and the rest from San Francisco.
Airport sources said the first flight from San Francisco will reach Bengaluru on June 13, followed by daily flights from June 16 to July 1. Only on June 28, two flights will operate on that route. The flight from Los Angeles will arrive in the state capital on June 19.The government will run at least one flight each from France, Japan, Maldives, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Netherlands, Nepal, New Zealand and Russia. “But these are tentative and could change depending on demand,” an airport source said.
Twitteratti bombarded Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Suri with complaints of high ticket fares and blocking of tickets by agents. Suri conceded that fares were higher than usual, but pointed out they were “reasonable” compared to those paid by people heading back to other countries on the same routes.
He tweeted that travellers to Tel Aviv paid `82,500 while Indian citizens pay `51,938 to fly to India from there.
Flyers from India to Toronto paid `1.62 lakh and Rs 1.84 lakh to Vancouver while Indian citizens pay `1.07 lakh to return from Canadian cities. The first flight of VBM was launched on May 6. A statement by Air India read, “AI has in Phase I operated 64 flights and evacuated 12,708 Indians. In Phase-2, till date 52,113 Indians have been brought home.”