Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Ukraine evacuation flights to cost India Rs 65-70 crore

The Union government-operated 76 flights under ‘Operation Ganga’ to safely bring about 18,000 Indians back home from war-torn Ukraine over the past week. Of the 76 flights, private airlines operated 46 as of March 9.

The total two-way cost of operating these flights would amount to Rs 65-70 crore, government officials said.

Flights under ‘Operation Ganga’ were operated by the Indian Armed Forces, Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Air India Express to rescue Indians from Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova.

“The government will pay private airlines Rs 7-8 lakh per hour for operating a Boeing Dreamliner 787 and an Airbus A321,” a senior government official said.

Of the 46 evacuation flights, 29 were operated to Bucharest in Romania, 10 to Budapest in Hungary, six to Rzeszow in Poland, and one to Kocise in Slovakia.

“The average cost of operating a two-way flight between Delhi and Bucharest, with a total airtime of about 18 hours, would come up to around Rs 1.35 crore,” the government official said. The average cost of operating a flight between Mumbai and Bucharest would be about Rs 1.7 crore, the official said.

The official said the government has started paying the airlines for the rescue effort and most payments are expected to be completed by the month-end.

The government is not charging the people rescued for the evacuation flights. Some state governments have said they will bear the expenses of people from their respective states who are returning from Ukraine.

09/03/22 Yaruqhullah Khan/Moneycontrol

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