Sunday, May 17, 2020

143 stranded Afghan nationals depart on special flight as nine Indians return from Afghanistan

Pune: A total of 143 Afghan nationals, stranded in different parts of the country, departed from Pune airport on a special flight arranged by their government in cooperation with Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. Nine Indian nationals working in Afghanistan also returned to Pune on the same aircraft, which arrived at the airport in Lohegaon on Sunday afternoon.

The flight RQ 401 of KAM Airlines arrived at 12.30 pm, but its departure was delayed by two hours as it left at 3.30 pm instead of 1.30 pm.

Pune Customs Joint Commissioner Vaishali Patange said, “Today, Pune Customs successfully facilitated the arrival of nine Indian nationals and departure of 143 Afghan nationals, stranded in Afghanistan and India, respectively, due to Covid-19 by KAM Airlines. Departing Afghan nationals are mostly defence personnel and students who came to Pune airport from Goa, Panchmarhi and Bengaluru.”

The Afghan group included students from National Defence Academy (NDA), who had come for a short course at Military Institute of Technology (MILIT) on an exchange programme. Apart from this, students from various educational institutions in the city such as Symbiosis International College and Fergusson College were also part of the group.

“The flight landed at 12.40 pm and departed at 3.30 pm. Out of nine arriving passengers, eight were sent to their respective places to be quarantined, one passenger has a history of cough and was sent for swab test,” she said.

“A total of 147 passengers came for departure, of which four were sent back as the flight capacity is 143. No departing passenger had signs or symptoms of Covid-19,” said Pune Airport Director Kuldeep Singh.
17/05/20 Indian Express
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