Bengaluru: 3k foreigners fly out of KIA amid lockdown

Bengaluru: 3,000 foreigners fly out of Kempegowda International Airport during coronavirus lockdown

Nearly 3,000 stranded foreign nationals flew out of Kempegowda International Airport to 17 destinations worldwide during the COVID-19 lockdown. As many as 22 flights were part of this operation. 

The largest number of passengers was bound for Tokyo, with Japan Airlines operating three flights over three consecutive days. Incheon in South Korea, too, had a big number of arrivals from KIA, with Korean Air operating one flight.

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The other destinations were Azerbaijan, Baghdad, Cairo, Colombo, Doha, Frankfurt, London, Male, Muscat, Paris, Paro (Bhutan), Riyadh, Rome and Stockholm and Tbilisi (Georgia). 

First to Frankfurt 

The first evacuation from KIA was to Frankfurt, with Air India operating a flight on March 31. This was the first time that the airport facilitated flights to eight new cities, which included Baku, Baghdad, Cairo, Incheon, Paro (Bhutan), Rome and Stockholm and Tbilisi, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) said. 

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The flights were coordinated between the governments to help foreign nationals, stranded in Bengaluru and across South India due to the nationwide lockdown, return home. In preparation for each of these flights, the terminal and other passenger touchpoints were cleaned, fumigated and sanitised. Airport staff, CISF, immigration and airline staff ensured that passengers maintained social distance and had access to hand sanitisers and masks, according to BIAL.