Special flight evacuates over 140 stranded Afghan nationals from Pune

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], May 17 (ANI): Over 140 stranded Afghan nationals, majority of them includes cadets from the National Defence Academy (NDA), will return home on Sunday afternoon in a special flight from Pune International Airport.

The special flight was arranged by the Afghan government with the help of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Meanwhile, the first batch of stranded Indian citizens departed from Kabul by KamAir flight to Pune today.

"#VandeBharatMission The first batch of stranded Indian citizens leave Kabul by KamAir flight to Pune today. More to follow. We urge all Indian citizens to exercise patience and cooperate. @MEAIndia," the Indian Embassy in Kabul wrote on Twitter.

The phased evacuation comes as a part of the Government of India's ambitious 'Vande Bharat' mission which flagged off its second phase from May 16.

Under the second phase, a total of 149 flights, including feeder flights, is expected to operate to bring back stranded Indians from 40 countries.

On Saturday, Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri said that over 13,000 people have returned under the Vande Bharat repatriation mission till date. At total of 812 citizens have returned on Air India and AirIndia Express flights from Newark, London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. More flights continue, the minister said on Twitter. (ANI)