Monday, February 28, 2022

Operation Ganga gains speed: IndiGo, AI Express & SpiceJet join Air India in bringing back Indians

New Delhi: Given the large number of Indians who require to be evacuated from conflict zone Ukraine, other Indian airlines — IndiGo, Air India Express and SpiceJet — have also started operating flights to Bucharest and Budapest.

Till now only Air India has been deploying its wide body Boeing 787 on Ukraine flights (one commercial and all other government of India charters).

The non-AI flights will operate one-stop to India given the limited range of their single sidles aisles like Airbus A320/21 or Boeing 737s.

AI Express operated a Boeing 737 from Mumbai to Bucharest on Monday. The flight, say people in the know, will return one-stop via Kuwait to Mumbai with 182 Indian nationals on Monday morning.

Now a Tata Group airline along with parent AI, AI Express will operate as many Operation Ganga charters as needed to bring back Indians safely home.

IndiGo is operating two evacuation flights using A321 aircraft, one each from Delhi to Bucharest and Budapest, via Istanbul.

An IndiGo spokesperson said: “We are closely liaising with the government to offer our support for more such evacuations flights. IndiGo stands committed to the citizens of India and will continue to contribute to the country in every possible way.”

A SpiceJet spokesman said the budget airline is operating an evacuation flight to Budapest, using its Boeing 737 MAX.

“The aircraft will fly to Budapest from Delhi and the return fight will operate via Kutaisi, Georgia. SpiceJet is planning to operate more evacuation flights and is in discussion with authorities,” he added.

28/02/22 Times of India

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