Bhubaneswar: The first ever direct flight from Dubai to Bhubaneswar carrying people from Odisha stranded in the gulf city due to COVID-19 crisis will arrive at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) on Thursday.
The flight with 149 passengers will take off at Dubai International Airport at 3 PM tomorrow and land at Bhubaneswar Airport at 9.15 PM, official sources said.
“A flight is coming from Dubai on May 14 and will reach at 9.15 pm. The flight will be operated by Air India,” said BPIA Director VV Rao.
So far, there has been no direct flight from Dubai to Bhubaneswar. The exception was made in view of the COVID-19 crisis and following the advice of the Odisha Government, Consulate General of India (CGI) and Odisha Samaj UAE.
Sources said Odisha Samaj UAE initiated talks with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Odisha Government as well as the Indian Consulate in Dubai requesting them to take necessary steps for repatriation of around 300 Odias, who have registered on CGI website for repatriation.
In the first phase, 149 persons will return to Odisha on Thursday. The Odia organisation has expressed its gratitude to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and CG Vipul and his team for their help in this regard.
“Please follow the rules set by Odisha Government once you arrive and do not forget to register on the COVID-19 portal before you depart from Dubai. For those who won’t be able to travel on Thursday’s flight, we request them to be patient,” said a member Odisha Samaj UAE.
Worth mentioning, from UAE, 11 flights will operate to India for repatriation of stranded people. Total 149 flights will be operated from 33 countries for the second phase evacuation process under Vande Bharat Mission. Of the 149, three flights have been scheduled to Odisha- one each from UAE, USA and Malaysia.