Video: Passengers Cheer As Air India Flight Comes Home From Ukraine


An Air India aircraft that brought Indians from Ukraine landed in Delhi tonight

New Delhi:

A special Air India flight from Ukraine carrying nearly 240 passengers has landed in Delhi tonight, news agency PTI reported. The Boeing 787 aircraft left Ukraine’s capital Kyiv at 6 pm and reached Delhi around midnight.

In visuals tweeted by news agency ANI, passengers are seen cheering, clappingย and showing the victory sign as the aircraft landed in the national capital.

Thousands of Indians are waiting to fly back home from Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin has recognised two separatist areas in Ukraine as independent nations.

Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan on Tuesday said it has no plans to operate flights to Ukraine. “At this time, we are not planning flights to Ukraine because of aircraft limitations and other reasons,” he told news agency PTI.

Air India, recently acquired by Tata group, flew several “Vande Bharat” missions to repatriate Indians when the COVID-19 lockdown was in full effect.

A Civil Aviation Ministry official told PTI some other Indian airlines are likely to operate flights to Ukraine depending on demand.

India has requested its citizens including students who are living in Ukraine to return if their stay in the east European nation “is not deemed essential”. The Indian embassy in Ukraine said Indian citizens should look for any available commercial or charter flight to get out of the country amid tensions over a possible invasion by Russia.

Indians in Ukraine who need information and assistance can also contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or MEA, which has set up a dedicated control room. There were reports of people not getting flight tickets earlier this week. India’s embassy in Ukraine has a 24-hour helpline.

The situation in Ukraine continues to be very dangerous. Russian lawmakers today gave President Vladimir Putin the green light to deploy forces abroad, paving the way for the Russian leader to send troops into Ukraine despite a fierce global backlash.

The unanimous approval by Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, allows Mr Putin to deploy “peacekeepers” to two breakaway Ukrainian regions now recognised by Moscow as independent, and potentially into other parts of Ukraine.

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