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Why in news?

The Vande Bharat Mission to bring stranded Non-Resident Keralites back home in the wake of a global lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic got off to a firm start with two flights from the Gulf carrying 363 passengers touching down at the Cochin and Karipur airports on 7th May 2020.

Vande Bharat Mission

  • India launched Vande Bharat Mission with Air India flights ferrying out passengers stranded in India and this Mission is claimed to be the biggest repatriation exercise ever.
  • ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ will see the operation of 64 flights from May 7 to May 13 to bring back around 15,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad.

Air Evacuations in the Past

  • The 1990 airlift of Indians from Kuwait was carried out from August 13, 1990 to October 20, 1990 after the Invasion of Kuwait.
  • Air India helped evacuate 170,000 people by civil airliners.
  • The operation was carried out before the Persian Gulf War in 1990 to evacuate Indian expatriates from Kuwait.
  • Air India, the flag carrier Indian airline entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people evacuated by a civil airliner.
December 2023