Mangalore, May 30 : The first chartered flight to the city of Mangalore, Karnataka in South India is scheduled to depart from the Ras Al Khaimah airport of UAE on June 1. The SpiceJet flight, chartered by Praveen Shetty, chairman of the Fortune Group of Hotels and president of the Karnataka non-Resident Indian Forum (KNRI), will repatriate 105 staff members of the hotel group, who have been placed on leave, according to a statement issued here on Saturday.
Consul General of India to Dubai, Vipul confirmed the reports and said the flight, which will depart at 0945 hrs, will carry home a total of 180 passengers. On May 26, private companies and community groups were authorised by the Government of India to allow private aircraft and chartered operations on international sectors, in view of the pandemic.
A few charter flights, organised by private companies have already departed from Abu Dubai, said Mr Vipul. "The flight from RAK will not be the first one to depart from the UAE in these circumstances," he added. The Consul-General said mandatory IgG/IgM tests will be conducted before the passengers depart, similar to the tests conducted, as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.
He said 60 percent of the hotel staff was sent on paid leave, adding that three out of seven Fortune Group of Hotels in the UAE are non-operational at the moment. "I have donated one hotel branch as a quarantine facility to the UAE authorities, taking the total non-operational facilities to four," Mr Shetty said. A Fortune hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia has also been earmarked for institutional quarantine, he added. "Presently, I am sending 60 percent of my hotel staff back home to India on paid leave. Three of our properties in the UAE continue to remain open.
The staff and their family members being repatriated on the chartered flight work for the four that have been temporarily closed," the KNRI chief explained. However, he said he has not cancelled the Visas of any of his staff and will bring them back to the UAE once the pandemic completely subsides. (UNI)