Ukraine crisis: 3rd Air India flight evacuates 240 stranded citizens from Budapest
Indian government is leaving no stone unturned to bring back scores of stranded Indian citizens in Ukraine as the Russian invasion on country enters fourth day. This morning, a third evacuation flight operated by Air India landed in national capital Delhi from Budapest, bringing back 240 Indians stranded in Ukraine. A few hours earlier a second AI evacuation flight from Romanian capital of Bucharest had landed in Delhi bringing back 250 Indian citizens.
The evacuees were welcomed by Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia at the Delhi airport, who handed them roses as a sign of warm welcome. The minister had tweeted, “Joyous homecoming!
Relieved & delighted to see 250 Indians safely return from Ukraine on the @airindiain flight at the Delhi Airport. Received & interacted with them along with my colleague Sh @VMBJP Ji. Welcome back! #OperationGanga”
Sharing pictures of Mr. Scindia receiving evacuees at the airport, Air India tweeted from its official Twitter account, “Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia receiving the Indian nationals who were flown back to Delhi from Bucharest by AI 1942 on February 27 early morning, operated to evacuate Indians stranded at war-ravaged Ukraine.”
Government of India had initiated the evacuation of stranded Indian citizens on Saturday as Russia began its military offensive on Ukraine. AI1944, Air India’s first evacuation flight brought 219 Indian citizens to Mumbai from Bucharest on Saturday evening. “The second evacuation flight, AI1942, carrying 250 Indian citizens landed at the Delhi airport around 2.45 am on Sunday,” the officials said.
Government officials later stated, “Air India’s third evacuation flight, AI1940, which will depart from Hungarian capital Budapest, is also scheduled to return with evacuees to Delhi on Sunday.”
Since February 24, Ukraine has closed its airspace for civil aircraft operations when Russia had begun its offensive. For this reason, Indian evacuation flights are being operated out of Bucharest and Budapest. “Indian nationals who reached the Ukraine-Romania border and Ukraine-Hungary border were taken to Bucharest and Budapest, respectively, by road with the assistance of Indian government officials so that they could be evacuated in these Air India flights,” the officials said.