First-ever flight from Antananarivo to Mumbai to bring 61 stranded Indians

Indian Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar speaking to the 61 stranded Indians ahead of their boarding. Photo/ANI

Antananarivo [Madagascar], Aug 20 (ANI): The first-ever flight from Antananarivo to Mumbai, Air Madagascar will be evacuating 61 Indians stranded due to COVID-19 pandemic and to bring back about 160 Malagasy citizens from India on Thursday.
"We at the Embassy of India in Antananarivo have been working hard to make this flight possible. It is the first direct flight between India and Madagascar, between Antananarivo and Mumbai, which is a historic moment," said Abhay Kumar, India's Ambassador to Madagascar.
It will take about 6 and a half hours to fly from Antananarivo to Mumbai.
Last year, Air Madagascar had proposed to start a direct flight between Antananarivo and Mumbai from June this year. However, the proposal took a back seat due to the global pandemic.
In June, 85 stranded Indians were evacuated from Madagascar under the Vande Bharat Mission's third phase.
Madagascar has been home to about 20,000 persons of Indian origin. The total number of Indian citizens residing in the small island nation located in the southern Indian Ocean and close to East Africa is about 2500. Those people are mostly engaged in trading, manufacturing and other businesses. (ANI)