690 flights to bring Keralites from abroad: Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, June 3 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, here on Wednesday, the state had not said no to any incoming flights and instead given nod to 690 flights for June.

Vijayan was replying indirectly to allegations levelled by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, lone representative of Kerala in the Union Ministry.

On Tuesday, Muraleedharan had said Kerala had written to the Centre to delay the return of state diaspora from the Middle East.

Since May 7, 140 flights had arrived bringing in 24,333 passengers, Vijayan said.

“In the second phase of the Vande Bharat operations (till Tuesday), 12 flights have arrived. In June, 360 flights have been scheduled. From Wednesday to next Wednesday, 36 have been scheduled. The remaining 324 flights will be scheduled,” said Vijayan.

The state has also given its nod to 40 chartered flights. Of this, 14 have arrived and the remaining will follow soon. “The only conditions we have put forward is that fares of chartered flights should be comparable with the Vande Bharat fares and preference should be given to women and aged people,” Vijayan said.

“An organisation in Abu Dhabi will be operating 40 chartered flights,” Vijayan said.

Vijayan said some private airlines wanted to operate flights and Spice Jet had agreed to operate 10 flights a day.

According to the registrations with the state-owned Norka-Roots web portal, over 3.80 lakh people, mostly from the Middle East, have registered.



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