An Indian forum is likely to start chartered flights from Doha to Kerala from next Sunday, bringing respite to several hundreds of stranded persons from the south Indian state. They have been unable to return due to the flight disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are planning to operate chartered flights to all the four international airports (Kozhikode, Kochi, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala most likely from Sunday, June 7," SAM Basheer, president of Qatar Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), told Gulf Times.Last updated: June 01 2020 11:05 PM
"We have got the necessary permission from the government of India in this regard and final approval from the state government of Kerala is being finalised,” he explained.
Basheer said that the organisation so far got around 16,000 applications to travel to various destinations in Kerala.
“We are planning to arrange one flight each to all the four destinations a day. We are scrutinising the applications and so far detected about 2,000 duplicate applications. We have got a private airline to make the operations and hope to offer an affordable fare and help all the needy people,” he stated.
“Kozhikode has the maximum demand among those who have registered for the travel. There is also an equal demand for Kochi, followed by Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram. Our plan is to make sure that everyone in need can reach their home safe and secure. They will have to strictly follow all the guidelines issued by the respective authorities in India,” he continued.
However, the official advised that only those who are in need, should travel now and others must stay back. “This arrangement is made for people who are in distress and those who have serious health issues to travel back. Those who have valid visa and do not have any health problems should not try to travel now. They can wait until the normal travel schedules are opened up,” he maintained.
“There are many who have come on visit visa or business visa for various purposes. There are many jobless people without any income and not in a position to meet their daily needs. There are also many suffering from illnesses. These are our priority and others should try to avoid travel plans now,” Basheer added.