India has been ramping up its efforts to evacuate Indian nationals stuck in cities and border points of war-torn Ukraine. By this afternoon, at least three evacuation flights are set to bring back stranded Indians. This includes two flights from Romania’s capital city Bucharest and one from Hungary’s capital city Budapest. The flights will land in Mumbai and Delhi.
While announcing the ninth evacuation flight back to India this morning, Union External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar tweeted, “We will not rest till our fellow Indians are safe”. The minister has been constantly posting about India’s evacuation mission called “Operation Ganga”.
We will not rest till our fellow Indians are safe.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 28, 2022
The seventh Air India Express flight carrying 182 Indian nationals evacuated from Ukraine landed in Mumbai from the Romanian capital Bucharest on Tuesday morning, an airline spokesperson told news agency PTI.
Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane received them at the Mumbai airport, the spokesperson said.
The AI Express flight IX-1202 from Bucharest via Kuwait touched down the runway at 7:40 am, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to his counterparts in Romania and the Slovak Republic, Ukraine’s neighbouring countries from where India is planning to evacuate its citizens, about evacuation efforts from their countries.
On Monday, the government said that of the estimated 20,000 Indian nationals who were present in Ukraine about 8,000 have left the country since its first advisory earlier this month.
The government has also decided to send four Union Ministers to supervise the evacuation and announced plans for more flights to bring back students not just from India but also from neighbouring and developing countries, and send relief supplies to Ukraine as a humanitarian gesture.
Ministers Hardeep Puri, Kiren Rijiju, Jyotiradtiya Scindia, and General (retd) V K Singh have been tasked with overseeing evacuation efforts from Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.
Along with the Tata group-owned Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo have also joined the government’s evacuation efforts under Operation Ganga.
SpiceJet will operate a special flight to the Hungarian capital Budapest on Friday. The airline said yesterday that it will use its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for this special flight that was scheduled to depart from Delhi on Monday evening. It said it is planning to operate more evacuation flights and is in discussion with the concerned authorities.
IndiGo has said it is operating two evacuation flights using A321 aircraft to bring back Indian citizens safely. Both the flights will land in Delhi on Tuesday, it noted.