MOSCOW: A flight of the national carrier Air India has departed from Moscow with 143 stranded Indian nationals for Gaya, Bihar.
"7th flight under #VandeBharatMission - Air India flight from Moscow to Gaya took off at 0312 hrs today carrying 143 passengers onboard," the Indian Embassy in Moscow said on Twitter.
More than 57,000 citizens have returned to India since May 6 under the Government of India's ambitious 'Vande Bharat' mission to bring home Indian nationals stranded in various parts of the world due to restrictions over air travel to contain Covid-19 spread.
The exercise began on May 7 and its second phase started on May 16. The Ministry of External Affairs recently announced the second phase of the mission has been extended to June 13.
Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet on Monday that Air India Ltd will operate 70 flights to destinations in US and Canada under the third phase of the mission, between June 11-30 to repatriate Indians stranded abroad.
"More flights being added to Mission Vande Bharat to enable stranded & distressed Indians to return home. @airindiain will operate 70 flights to destinations in USA & Canada under Phase 3 of the Mission from 11-30 June 2020," he said.