6 flights set to repatriate Canadians stuck in India due to COVID-19

The first of six flights to repatriate some of the 15,000 Canadian passport holders arrested in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic is scheduled to leave Delhi on Saturday.

The cost per ticket is estimated at $ 2,900, available on a first come, first served basis, according to an email from Global Affairs Canada.


The special flights will be connected through London and will be available to citizens and immediate family members permanent residents in Canada, holding a valid permanent resident card and who will accompany the Canadian citizen on the flight.

Nav Jhawer applied to take his mother and father home on one of the flights after three previous return reservations took place amid the total travel and blockage of India's airspace.

"I've been worrying a lot," he said. "I told them that the most important thing is that you need to stay healthy in order to be able to board a flight."


Jhawer says his mother, Parkash, 66, and father Surinder, 72, of Campbell River, B.C., are snow birds that spend winters in Punjab, northern India.

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He says the $ 2,900 price tag is high, but he is more concerned with those who may not be able to pay.

"At the end of the day, I made the decision that my parents need to be home," he said. "But think of a family of four who are already stressed out or with parents who could be fired from work."

One flight per day is scheduled to leave Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport from Saturday to next Tuesday.

Two additional flights will depart from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, the first on Saturday and the other on Tuesday.


Jhawer says he is waiting to hear the details of how his parents will make the eight-hour trip to Delhi if the application is accepted, considering the travel ban that is in effect.


"Right now, I hope that all these little pieces have been thought of," he said.

CBC News asked Global Affairs Canada for more information on repatriation flights, but had yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

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