Johannesburg, June 19 (PTI) Over 300 Indians stranded in South Africa due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions will fly back home in a specially arranged chartered flight on Monday.
The India Club of South Africa (ICSA), a socio-cultural organisation of Indian expatriates, has arranged the flight with assistance from the Ethiopian Airlines.
The route will be to Hyderabad via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. As of now, 338 Indians are set to fly home. Almost all the passengers are from south India and over half of them are from Hyderabad.
'They will therefore face quarantine restrictions closer to home than if they had been flown to Delhi or Mumbai,” said vice president of ICSA John Francis.
'It was really painful to see so many Indians stuck in South Africa. There were passengers who had lost family members back home, pregnant women, people who had lost jobs, senior citizens, and depressed people,” Francis said.
ICSA president Manish Gupta said the flight was arranged with cooperation of India's Ministry of External Affairs, the High Commission Office in Pretoria, Consular Offices in Durban and Cape Town, and South African authorities.
Gupta said the ICSA was considering to arrange another flights as about 600 Indians will still be left in South Africa.
This will be the third repatriation flight to India from South Africa after the COVID-19 outbreak.
The first flight was last month taking around 300 nationals to Delhi and Mumbai in a South African Airways flight.
The second flight left on Thursday as part of the 'Vande Bharat Mission' which is India’s biggest ever repatriation exercise to bring back Indians from abroad. PTI FH IND IND