Russian nationals who wished to return home have left New York for Moscow Sunday aboard a repatriation flight operated by Aeroflot Russian Airlines, John F. Kennedy International Airport website shows.
The airport’s online schedule shows that SU103 flight left and is expected to land in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport at 11:13 Moscow time, TASS reports.
As Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov noted in a statement published via Facebook, this is "the twelfth repatriation flight for Russian citizens stuck in the US amid the pandemic." "391 people registered for the flight, including 21 babies," the envoy said. Antonov stressed that the embassy diplomats put in the effort to include on the flight list 52 people who required urgent repatriation for humanitarian reasons," including "people in difficult life situations, retired and disabled people."
"Today, one student whose studying and accommodation terms ran out is coming home as well as one schoolchild who travelled to the US for an ‘educational exchange’ program," he added.
The Russian embassy in the US earlier noted that citizens residing across Russia could check in for the flight.
On April 3, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov revealed that more than 2,000 Russians stranded in America communicated their intentions to leave for Russia to diplomats amid the coronavirus pandemic. Later, Aeroflot organized a number of repatriation flights from the US to Russia, taking off from New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.