A fourth and final repatriation flight departed early Monday, evacuating 78 Thai nationals who were stranded in Maldives and Sri Lanka, amid the global travel restrictions implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Organised jointly by the Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka and the Royal Thai Consulate in Maldives, this was the third flight under the repatriation mission to return Thai nationals, who requested to do so at the Embassy.
According to the consulate, 15 Thai citizens were repatriated from Maldives, while 63 were evacuated from neighbouring Sri Lanka, via a chartered flight on the Maldives' national carrier, 'Maldivian'.
With this development, a total of 349 Thai nationals have been repatriated from Maldives.
The first two repatriation flights were held April 16 and May 4, evacuating 55 and 131 individuals respectively from Maldives, while a third was held May 17, returning 148 persons to Thailand.
Several foreign citizens, including tourists and expatriate workers, were stranded in the island nation when the government stopped issuing on-arrival-visas and closed its borders on March 27, in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.
A number of special flights have been scheduled since, to undertake the repatriation work of returning foreign nationals to their home countries. Authorities are also working with foreign governments to bring back Maldivians stranded overseas due to the pandemic.