Bhubaneswar: The first-ever direct flight from Dubai to Bhubaneswar carrying Odisha people stranded in the Gulf city due to the Covid-19 crisis would arrive at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here on Thursday.
The flight with 149 passengers would take off from the Dubai International Airport at 3 pm on Thursday and land at Bhubaneswar at 9.15 pm, official sources said.
“A flight is coming from Dubai on May 14 and will reach at 9.15 pm. The flight will be operated by Air India,” said BPIA Director VV Rao.
So far, there has been no direct flight from Dubai to Bhubaneswar. The exception is being made in view of the Covid-19 crisis and following the advice of the Odisha Government, Consulate General of India (CGI) and Odisha Samaj, UAE.
Sources said the Odisha Samaj, UAE initiated talks with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Odisha Government as well as the Indian Consulate in Dubai requesting them to take requisite steps for repatriation of around 300 Odias, who have registered on the CGI website for repatriation.
In the first phase, 149 people would return to the State. The Odisha Samaj, UAE has expressed its gratitude to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and CG Vipul and his team for their help in this regard.
An Odisha Samaj, UAE member told the evacuees. “Please follow the rules set by the Odisha Government once you arrive and do not forget to register on the Covid-19 portal before you depart from Dubai. For those who won’t be able to travel on tomorrow’s flight, we request them to be patient.”