Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Operation Ganga: 26 airline charters & IAF C-17 Globemaster flights over next 3 days to fly back Indians

New Delhi:  India will operate 26 charters over the next two to three days to bring home Indians who have managed to leave Ukraine and make it to neighbouring countries, according to foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

Indian carriers — including Air India, AI Express, IndiGo and SpiceJet — will operate mainly to Bucharest and Budapest. There will be a few flights to Poland Slovakia also.

Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster will fly out of Delhi on Wednesday morning to Romania.

“About 20,000 Indians were believed to be in Ukraine (at the start of the crisis). Since then 12,000 have left the country. Of the remaining 8,000, half are in conflict zone and the other half are on their way to the western border. No Indian is in Kyiv. We are evacuating from conflict zone Kharkiv. We will operate as many flights as required to fly everyone back home safely,” Shringla said.

A majority of the flights will be headed to Bucharest, followed by Bucharest, Rzeszow (Poland) and Kocise (Slovakia).

In a statement, IndiGo said it “will operate six additional flights using A321 aircraft on March 2, 2022. Two flights each will be operated via Istanbul, from Delhi to Budapest (Hungary) and Rzeszow (Poland); and two flights will operate from Mumbai to Bucharest (Romania) via Istanbul. All these six flights which will arrive back with citizens in Delhi will also be part of Operation Ganga initiative.”

SpiceJet operated a flight to Kosice, Slovakia, on Tuesday. Union law minister Kiren Rijiju flew out on this flight as a special envoy of the Indian government to oversee the evacuation.

01/03/22 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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