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Air India Flight With 219 Indian Evacuees Takes Off From Bucharest To Mumbai

An Air India flight carrying 219 Indians who were stranded in Ukraine took off on Saturday from Bucharest in Romania for Mumbai.

Published: February 26, 2022 2:49 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

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New Delhi: An Air India flight carrying 219 Indians who were stranded in Ukraine took off on Saturday from Bucharest in Romania for Mumbai. In a tweet, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he is “personally” monitoring the evacuation process.

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Indian nationals who have reached the Ukraine-Romania border by road are being taken to Bucharest by Indian government officials so that they can be evacuated in the Air India flight.

Air India will operate more flights today (February 26) to Bucharest and Hungarian capital Budapest to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine. The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since the morning of February 24 and therefore, the evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest and Budapest.

Around 20,000 Indians, mainly students, are currently stranded in Ukraine, the officials said. Before the closure of the Ukrainian airspace, Air India had conducted one flight to Ukrainian capital Kyiv on February 22 that brought 240 people back to India.

It had planned to operate two more flights on February 24 and February 26 but it could not do so as the Russian offensive began on February 24 and the Ukrainian airspace was consequently shut down.

Air India said on Twitter on Friday night that it will be operating flights on B787 aircraft from Delhi and Mumbai to Bucharest and Budapest on Saturday as special government charter flights to fly back stranded Indian citizens.

The Indian embassy in Ukraine on Friday said it is working to establish evacuation routes from Romania and Hungary.

“At present, teams are getting in place at the following check points: Chop-Zahony Hungarian border near Uzhhorod, Porubne-Siret Romanian border near Chernivtsi,” it said.

Indian nationals, especially students, living closest to these border checkpoints are advised to depart in an organised manner in coordination with teams from the Ministry of External Affairs to actualise this option, the embassy said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published Date: February 26, 2022 2:49 PM IST