Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 18 (ANI): A special Air India flight AI 0231 carrying 169 passengers, including 73 students, senior citizens, stranded tourists and people with medical emergencies, touched down at Kolkata airport on Monday afternoon under the Centre's ambitious 'Vande Bharat' mission.
This is the first repatriation operation from the neighbouring country to West Bengal.
"Pleased to welcome the first special flight under #VBM to West Bengal. AI 0231 has landed in Kolkata, carrying 169 Indians from Dhaka. Thank @airindiain @MoCA_GoI and WB Govt for support and coordination," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter and also wrote a similar message in Bengali.
He further appreciated the efforts of Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das and her team in evacuating the stranded nationals.
The passengers, who have reached Kolkata, will now be placed in mandatory quarantine for 14 days, following which they will be allowed to travel to their homes in several districts across the state.
Kolkata was not among the destinations in the initial list of 149 repatriation flights from more than 30 countries in the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission that is expected to bring back some 32,000 people from some 40 countries across the globe.
The second phase began on May 16, after some 15,000 people were repatriated on 64 flights in the first phase. (ANI)