Monday 17 August 2020 10:22 PM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON Aug 17: Overseas Congress of India (OICC UK) has called for direct flights between London and Kochi to be made into a permanent fixture once the lockdown is lifted. At present Air India has begun regular direct flights from London to Kochi and return direct flights from Kochi to Kerala under the Vande Bharath Mission repatriation measures. This was put in place by Air India as they had realised that there is a demand for weekly direct flights to Kochi from London and return.
Now, the UK leadership of OICC UK has decided to take it up with Air India and Indian government officials so that the present direct flights will continue to operate even after the lockdown is lifted, said a press note from OICC UK.
The OICC leadership further said that the Thiruvananthapuram-London-London-Kochi flights should continue at least two days a week and that Kerala should be treated like any other state.
OICC UK Joint Convener KK Mohandas had written several letters to Union Ministers of State requesting direct flights from the UK to Kerala and from Kerala to the UK in the wake of the repatriation of expatriates from the Gulf countries to Kerala.
OICC UK Convener Thekkumuri Haridas has asked leaders to keep the momentum in helping those Keralites in distress in UK and those expatriates who returned to Kerala. OICC and organisations like KMCC UK are still continuing with their efforts to help those stranded.
OICC UK are concerned that many people whose visas had expired are still in the UK and a cause for concern. They are worried that they will not be able to return.
Mohandas has already written to the Indian External Affairs Minister, Union Minister for Kerala, V. Muraleedharan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran and the Indian High Commissioner to the UK in regards to helping those stranded.
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