A total of 153 Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka were repatriated on a special Air India (AI 0282) flight from Colombo to Delhi today.

The flight was scheduled as part of phase IV of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ a Government of India initiative to undertake the largest ever repatriation from all over the world for return of Indian nationals stranded abroad due to COVID19 pandemic.

The next special repatriation flight from Sri Lanka will be AI 0282 from Colombo to Delhi 18 July 2020.

High Commissioner of India GopalBaglay met the Indian nationals at the Bandaranaike International Airport and bid the happy passengers a safe journey. He thanked the Government and people of Sri Lanka for their continued cooperation in the repatriation of stranded Indian nationals from Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

Based on the registrations received by the High Commission of India, a passenger manifest will be prepared for these flights. Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with expiry of visa, people with medical emergency/ pregnant women/elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students as stated in the Standard Operating Procedure issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

The Indian nationals who were stranded in Sri Lanka due to restrictions on international travel because of COVID19 pandemic have expressed their happiness at the opportunity to return home.

Over 1600 Indian nationals have been repatriated from Sri Lanka so far including this flight through three special Air India Flight on 29 May, 15 June, 22 June and 03 July 2020, Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa which made a voyage from Colombo to Tuticorin on 01 June and through various charter flights.