Indian businessman charters 170-person passenger plane to fly home to see mother

To date, only three repatriation flights from the UAE have reached Kolkata

An Indian businessman chartered a flight to travel to see his cancer-stricken mother in Kolkata, according to media reports.

According to a story in Dubai-based Gulf News, businessman Gautam Banka initially planned to spend AED 216,000 ($58,800) for the flight, splitting the cost with a number of other Indian nationals hoping to return home.

“I was still short of four passengers when another idea dawned upon me: why not charter a bigger plane and repatriate more people at much lower fares,” he said. “As word spread, people from India’s eastern region trooped in to book their tickets for the first chartered flight to Kolkata.

For the flight, Indian low-cost carrier has now provided an aircraft to fly back 170 people. The flight is scheduled to take place on Sunday.

“The trip costs AED 1,050 per person, which is much lower than what is being charged by travel agents,” Banka said. “Thankfully, everything fell in place. My mother is seriously ill and I am glad I will be by her side.”

To date, only three repatriation flights from the UAE have reached Kolkata, including one from Dubai on June 3 and one each from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on June 24.

On Saturday, Indian authorities released a list of 59 repatriation flights from the UAE to various Indian cities in July.

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