4 Aug 2020

Repatriation flights for stranded Indians delayed

11:18 am on 4 August 2020

Planned repatriation flights to return Indians stranded here have been delayed.

Air India Airline Boeing 787 dream liner arriving or landing.

File photo. Photo: Dugulan.com / 123RF

Two special Air India flights were due to leave Auckland later this week and next week.

The Indian High Commission said the flights had been delayed by a "few days" with the revised dates to be announced.

It said the economy-class flights will cost about $2500.

Hundreds of New Zealanders trapped in India have expressed interest in catching a ride on one of the return flights.

The Covid-19 All of Government Response Group said it was still working out whether this will be allowed.

Air India said it was happy to take them but could not without permission from the New Zealand government.

Between April and early July the government supported around 2800 New Zealand citizens and permanent residents to return home from India through chartered Air New Zealand flights, commercial flights and third-country repatriation flights.

A private charter flight run by Auckland based Sehion Tours & Travels says it is still going ahead as planned on 7 August.

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