Evacuation flight from San Francisco arrives in Bengaluru

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Evacuation flight from San Francisco arrives in Bengaluru
Bengaluru:  An Air India evacuation flight to Karnataka landed here with 115 returnees from San Francisco via New Delhi, an official said on Thursday.

“AI-0174 flight from San Francisco landed here at 8:30 a.m. with 115 passengers after a stopover in New Delhi,” an official of the state-run airline told IANS here.

This is the second flight from San Francisco to the southern state a week after the first from the US west coast arrived here on May 15 with 109 returnees.

“As per the standard operating procedure and guidelines of the state health department, all the 115 passengers were screened with thermal device and tested to ensure they were asymptomatic before leaving the airport,” a nodal officer said.

The returnees were given a spare mask to wear all the time and a sanitiser to wash their hands.

“The luggage of all the passengers, including cabin baggage were also screened and disinfected before handing over to them after they completed formalities such as filling the self-declaration form and downloading of the Quarantine App for contact tracing later,” said the official.

The passengers were ferried from the airport in state-run buses in batches for 14-day institutional quarantine in hotels and resorts across the city.

The service was the fifth to the southern state in the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission, the national carrier and its Express arm are operating to repatriate thousands of Indians, including distressed workers, migrants, students, senior citizens and tourists, stranded overseas since the government suspended international flights on March 23 and enforced an extended lockdown on March 25 to combat COVID-19 spread.

The first flight in the second phase landed on Monday night at Mangaluru on the state’s west coast, with 177 passengers from Dubai in the UAE.

The second flight to the southern state from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia landed here (Bengaluru) on Tuesday evening, with 94 passengers.

The third flight from Muscat in Oman landed here and at Mangaluru on the state’s west coast on Wednesday evening.

The fourth flight from Dammam in Saudi Arabia also landed in Bengaluru on Wednesday night.

The remaining flights to Karnataka will land in Bengaluru and Mangaluru over the next 12 days till June 3 from 11 more destinations the world over.

In the first phase of the mission from May 7-17, the airline and its arm flew 6 flights to the state from May 11-15, bringing in 800 passengers, including 623 to Bengaluru and 177 to Mangaluru from London, Singapore, San Francisco and Dubai.

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