iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Everybody wants to go home. On Friday, when Air India announced its 3rd phase of Mission Vande Bharat, it received an overwhelming response, to the point that their website crashed.
Air India received six crore hits on its website during the first two hours of opening the bookings.
Many were left in frustration. Indians, who were waiting to get back home, vented their frustration on social media, stating that Air India’s website did not function properly during the first few hours of opening when most of the flights got sold out.
The bookings were opened for around 300 flights to various countries including the USA and the UK. They will be flying between June 10 and July 1.
India’s national carrier opened the bookings at 5 PM (IST) and it posted the following on Twitter at 6.08 PM on Friday: “Demand for seats from India on flights planned under Mission Vande Bharat-3 is overwhelming. Sectors/ Flights are being opened systematically for booking, on the website.”
Even before they could get an answer, the seats were booked. At 8.20 pm on Friday, it tweeted: “Bookings for select destinations in the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe, etc under Phase3 of #MissionVandeBharat opened at 5 pm today. Around 60 million hits received till 7 pm on our website & 1700 seats sold through the website alone in 2 hrs. Bookings continue and tickets are being issued.”
Amid the gradual ease in restrictions along with the resumption of domestic commercial passenger flights on May 25, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that the ministry is trying to start some percentage of international passenger flights before August.
Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express started operating international flights from May 7 onwards to repatriate stranded Indians from abroad. The first phase was from May 7 to May 16, following which the second phase began.
Between May 7 and June 1, the Air India group has operated a total of 423 inbound international flights under the mission, bringing 58,867 Indian citizens back to the country.