Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Air India flight lands in Delhi from Ukraine, students who returned say ‘tension building up’

New Delhi: An Air India special flight, AI1946, from Kyiv in Ukraine landed in Delhi around 11.30 pm on Tuesday.

Those on board were mostly students who were returning after the Indian embassy in Ukraine issued advisories asking them to leave Ukraine temporarily.

On Tuesday night, families crowded around the arrival gates well in advance, waiting for returning students.

Dhruv Malhotra, a fifth-year student of medicine in the city of Kharkiv in Ukraine, was among those who returned. “Right now, it’s peaceful and the situation is under control in Kharkiv and Kyiv. But the tension seems to be building up, and we were advised to leave,” he said.

Malhotra, who is from Vrindavan, said that his friends are also headed back soon, some on the Air India flights scheduled for the next few days, and others who have booked on other airlines. In addition to the one that landed on Tuesday, Air India is operating two special flights between Kyiv and Delhi on February 24 and 26.

Mohammad Alfaiz, a second-year student of medicine from Delhi, said that there seemed to be a lot of tension among the Ukrainians. “The situation is normal so far, but students are worried,” he said.

“Classes will now be held online. It will have an impact on our studies, since practicals will be affected, and we’ll be able to get back only once the situation returns to normal,” said Mohammad Zeeshan, also a second-year MBBS student from Mumbai. “Our friends will be returning soon as well. People are returning as and when they are able to book flights. The flight tickets we have been seeing are very expensive.”

23/02/22 Abhinaya Harigovind/Indian Express


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