India has announced the Phase 4 of its massive repatriation mission, the Phase 4 of Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) will start from Friday, July 3, with over 912 flights scheduled for the period of 6 weeks.
The phase 4 mission will be the biggest repatriation flight until now but will focus on fewer countries, with flights from only 17 countries while private airlines will play a major role, with IndiGo operating 457 flights and GoAir 41 flights, as numbers are likely to increase.
The reason for the increased number of flights is due to the entry of private airlines, which will undertake more than half of the flights as airlines will operate 912 flights to 17 countries between 3rd July and 15th August (dates could change if more flights are added in the future).
In this phase, Air India will exclusively focus on long-haul destinations, leaving shorter routes to Air India Express and private carriers. Long-haul destinations include flights to Australia, the UK, the US, Ukraine, Canada, and Kenya. These flights will operate between 3rd and 15th July.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, private airlines will be in the center of the repatriation flights this time.
IndiGo will be operating the lion’s share of these flights, with 457 going to the low-cost giant. GoAir will also take up a number of flights from Kuwait, marking its first entry into the repatriation space. Vistara and AirAsia India don’t seem to be operating any flights, but that could change if more flights are added.
“The decision to include private carriers will be a huge boost to the Indian aviation industry, giving airlines severely-needed revenue. Even if repatriation flights do not turn a large profit, they do provide millions in revenue and boost passenger numbers.”