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Infosys charters a flight to bring back staff stuck in US

By Debasis Mohapatra
Last updated on: July 07, 2020 16:11 IST
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76 families took a Qatar Airways flight from San Francisco on Sunday evening and reached Bangalore International Airport after a 20-hour flight.

These employees were stuck in the US due to various reasons.

The Bengaluru airport was busier than other days on Monday.

In a rare gesture, Infosys had brought back more than 200 people - comprising employees and their family members - in a chartered flight.

 

The Infoscions, as employees of India’s second-largest information technology (IT) services company are called, were stuck in the US ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit global airline services.

According to sources, 76 families took a Qatar Airways flight from San Francisco on Sunday evening and reached Bangalore International Airport after a 20-hour flight.

Infosys declined to give details, but it is reliably learnt that these employees were stuck in the US due to various reasons.

Some had travelled for project work but could not return due to ban on travel.

“Some others were scheduled to travel back in March, but could not do so."

So, the company arranged a flight for their safe travel to India,” said a person familiar with the development.

US is a key market for most Indian IT services players, which derive over 60 per cent of their revenue from this region.

Amid the pandemic, many IT employees are stuck in the US due to expiration of visa or abrupt cancellation of projects.

Recently, the Donald Trump Administration also suspended work permits through non-immigrant visa till December to stem the rising unemployment rate in the US.

Infosys is planning to deploy more charter flights to bring back other staffers stuck in the US, said sources.

“There are plans to operate such flights even to other geographies like Canada, Europe, and West Asia,” the person said.

In June, Malabar Gold & Diamonds had reportedly ferried back 200 staffers and their families from the UAE.

Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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Debasis Mohapatra in Bengaluru
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