Thursday, May 07, 2020

Evacuation of expats to last for two months

Thiruvananthapuram: The first aircraft of the Kochi-headquartered Air India Express will take off from Cochin International Airport at 12.30 pm local time on Thursday for evacuation of Indian expatriates stranded in the Gulf because of Covid-19 spread. The low-budget arm of the national carrier will airlift over 4,000 expatriates from May 7 to 13.

The first aircraft will touch down at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 3.15 pm local time and take to the skies again with 177 passengers on board by around 4.15 pm, the airline said, but CIAL said in its press release in the evening that 179 passengers will arrive on the flight. By 9.40 pm, the flight is expected to land at the Kochi airport, creating history in evacuation if everything goes according to plan.
The largest civilian evacuation by air ever in the history of the country was in 1990 during the Gulf War, during which Air India had operated around 488 flights over 59 days carrying around 1.12 lakh Indians back to Mumbai.

As per the initial information, Air India Express will operate 23 flights from May 7 to 13 from Gulf countries, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Singapore to airports in Kerala, Bengaluru, Chennai, Tiruchy, Lucknow and Amritsar. Of these flights, 13 are scheduled to fly into Kerala.

Sources close to the national carrier said if everything goes according to plan, the whole evacuation exercise would last for over two months, making it the largest civilian airlift, as Kerala alone expects to bring around 2 lakh expats. As many as 8 aircraft would be pressed into service by Air India Express for the evacuation scheduled for the first week.
07/05/20 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment