THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At least 103 Russian tourists, who got stranded in the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, left for their country from here.
The special plane of Royal Flight Airlines took off at 10.30 am IST to Moscow via Kolkata and Yekaterinburg.
While at least 75 guests were staying in different destinations in Kerala like Varkala near the state capital, the rest were held up in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, officials said.
The operations were coordinated by Ratheesh C Nair, HonoraryConsul of the Russian Federation here.
The homebound passengers underwent the mandatory medical check-up and other formalities before boarding the flight.
As many as 2,500 stranded foreign tourists were repatriated from Kerala since the international airports were closed on March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This included 232 to Germany, 268 to the UK, 112 to France and 115 to Switzerland.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the state government had taken great care to ensure that the extended stay of the foreigners had been convenient and hassle-free.
The Tourism Department officials were in constant touch with them to extend the best hospitality that Kerala is known for.
Rani George, Secretary, Tourism, said "Providing care to tourists held up in the state has been top priority of the government despite the constraints posed by the lockdown.
"We are happy to note that all the stranded passengers were taken care of in the best possible manner."