Bhubaneswar: The Odia Society of UAE has come to the rescue of stranded Odias once again.
Having arranged a chartered flight which flew over 200 people from Sharjah to Bhubaneswar last month, the society made arrangements for Dubai-based airline FlyDubai to transport another 189 stranded Odias to Bhubaneswar from Dubai. The flight reached Biju Patnaik International Airport here at 8.45 pm on Wednesday.
Dr Chandra Shekar Khuntia of the Odia Society of UAE said that mortal remains of an Odia youth was also taken home in the flight. “Ollywood actor Sabyasachi Mishra had got the required permission for the same,” he said.
The same flight again flew back NRI Odias, who have UAE resident visas and are stuck in Odisha as regular international flights are yet to resume due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. The flight left Bhubaneswar at 9.30 pm.
“The booking for the return flight was open for all, but only those permitted by the UAE government after having undergone COVID-19 test boarded the flight,” he said.
On June 14, the Odia Society of UAE had organized an AirArabia chartered flight in which 215 Odias – stranded in the UAE due to the pandemic — were flown back home.
What made that flight even more special was the fact that it was flown by a lady, Captain Madhusmita Pattnaik — a native of Bhubaneswar who currently stays in Dubai.
The UAE is home to around 10,000 Odisha natives and the pandemic has only brought the Good Samaritans among them to the fore.