AUCKLAND (Sachin Sharma): Even as two Air India planes are set to come to New Zealand to repatriate Indians stranded here due to COVID - 19, the government here is yet not decided about bringing back the Kiwis stranded there in these two flights.
Two Air India flights under Vande Bharat Mission are scheduled from Auckland on August 8 and 13. The planes for these flights will leave India on August 5 and 10.
There are around 400 New Zealand citizens and permanent residents stranded in India due to travel restrictions in view of COVID - 19, who are desperate to come back to New Zealand.
A private charter flight from New Zealand under the mission is also scheduled on August 7 and approval for this from director general of civil aviation, India, is under process.
Earlier there was information that Kiwis stranded in India will be repatriated in two Air India flights.
Air India is willing to take stranded Kiwis back home in two flights, but same can't be done without permission from New Zealand government.
The New Zealand government is learnt to be dithering due to rising number of COVID - 19 cases in India.
In a written statement, the head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, said the government is yet to confirm whether New Zealanders will be able to access the outbound flights from India to New Zealand.
And that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will keep in touch with the Indian government and provide an update to New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel in India as soon as details are available.