Governments across the globe have operated special charters to bring their distressed citizens back home since a considerable portion of global commercial air travel had come to a screeching halt.
This has happened just too few days after the USA accused the Indian government of being involved in discriminatory and restrictive practices bi excluding us airlines from the vande Bharat mission to repatriate Indians from the US.
India's repatriation drive, Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) has announced new updates for its phase 4 operations that begin from July 3, 2020.
Between May 7 and early June, about 21,000 Indians were flown home.
This was followed by the US announcing that Air India will not be allowed to operate any chartered flight on Indo-US routes from July 22 onward unless specifically permitted by the US' Department of Transportation (DOT).
That includes 150,00 who have returned on almost 700 flights.
After facing backlash from the United States over the Vande Bharat Mission being conducted by India, it is now the UAE that has come forward with similar objections.
Furthermore, the DOT stated that US airlines were denied permission to operate these repatriation charters, referencing a Delta Air Lines letter sent to the Indian government dated May 26, 2020.
The United States government has taken the stance that due to the ability of Indian airlines to perform charter services but USA airlines are banned from doing so is creating a competitive imbalance between the two countries and therefore a violation of service agreements.
Between May 7 and June 1, Air India group has operated a total of 423 inbound global flights under the mission, bringing 58,867 Indian citizens back to the country. The Indian government has also approved additional flight services to bring back Indian nationals who are still stranded overseas. Among others, IndiGo will operate 238 flights from Qatar & 219 flights from Kuwait; while GoAir will operate 41 flights from Kuwait.
The national carrier will operate 26 flights between India and Saudi Arabia, it added.
Evacuation flights have been scheduled under the Vande Bharat Mission which has been carried out since May.