The science of repatriation flights

Flights back home

The world has experienced a pandemic after a long time. People are coming to terms with it. Covid-19 in almost seven months reshaped lifestyles and people.

The fact that people are no longer moving as per their wish has upset many things. Firstly, economic wheels stopped due to the pandemic. Secondly, the byproduct of a halted economic activity meant no travel. All of this concluded in a state of fear.

What is Repatriation?

Repatriation is basically sending back the people or assets to the country of origin. The Covid-19 situation exponentially grew out of hands. Many people were in different countries. They went for business, personal or occupational and educational purposes.

Many stayed back because the host country had its rules softened. However, many countries in the Gulf, Europe did see it as a problem and let the people go back to their countries of origin. The trouble of flying in a pandemic is multi-faceted. While on one hand, you need to resolve the issue. Consequently on the other hand the means to resolve are few.

The airlines and ports were shut down and the crew was unavailable. In this situation, countries and airlines work in close liaison and find methods for a safe flight.

 The unusual farewell

Once the host countries announce a strict lockdown the repatriation process begins at the grass-root level. The expatriates are given directions by their embassy. All arrangements of flights, tickets, and provisions are to be made.

For instance, in the US almost 64,000 Americans have been brought home from 117 countries. This stat is increasing for repatriation flights.

The governments charter planes and take the help of commercial airlines to get their people back. However,  when the airlines stopped operating it was major trouble for people. The refunds were not made timely.

In the case of the US, its residents have had help from their embassy.

Important Filters

A few pointers are to be kept in mind while arranging repatriation flights

  • Criminal records of the passengers
  • Health check of all travelers
  • Planning a minimum contact-based flight
  • Spacing for seating arrangement
  • Plenty of paperwork at the airport

Upon landing the repatriates have another security check to pass. Their details are noted and quarantine routines shared. The traveler is responsible for such cases to remain indoors in self-isolation. However, the forms and undertakings are signed at the airport.

France, Germany, UK, Ireland, the US, and many countries used their national as well as international airlines for this service.

Strict & Boring

Gone are the times when flights were glamorous and fun. The Covid-19 has stripped all such luxuries.

For instance, flight from India to the US for repatriation had a  limit on baggage one 10 pound hand carry, and a 50 pound checked bag.

Ethiopian Airlines flying for repatriation had another way to this. All flyers were middle class in terms of their amenities. And no flight entertainment.

The elite and regular difference has been erased by the pandemic.

Expensive Flights

Since Covid-19 precautions demand to distance, the flight rules are also strict. All airlines have taken passengers below full capacity. However, fuel and other fixed costs are the same. Thus in times of low business, the airlines had to push prices up.

The waves of Covid-19 might occur again. So it is better to know what the future holds. The repatriation process is of importance and needs to be streamlined.

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