The third phase of India’s repatriation drive, Vande Bharat Mission is set to commence on June 9 and will be carried out until June 30.

Under this, the national carrier Air India will operate 75 more flights to destinations in USA and Canada, said civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a tweet.

India started the Vande Bharat Mission on May 7 — in phase 1, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express operated 64 flights to bring 14,800 Indians back whereas, in phase 2, which is ongoing, over 149 flights have been arranged to bring back 30,000 stranded nationals from 31 countries.

As per the recent update, more than 50,000 Indian citizens have been brought back to the country under Vande Bharat Mission.

Meanwhile, international commercial passenger flights remain suspended until June 30.

Elaborating on this, Puri said “Numerous citizens have been approaching us to restart international flights. Several factors need to be addressed. Many international destinations are not allowing incoming passenger traffic, except for their own citizens or diplomats.

“Ministry of Home Affairs’ guidelines for lockdown 5.0 have further opened up inter and intra-state travel and will facilitate calibrated reopening of the sector. As we move towards the critical mass of 50-60 per cent operation of domestic flights, our ability to resume international operations will also improve.”