Rescue Ops: Tata-led Air India to run special flights to Ukraine

Air India Airbus A320. File Photo: Reuters
Air India Airbus A320. File Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: As tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain high, the Tata Group-led Air India will run three direct flights to Kyiv to bring back stranded Indians from the East European country.

Accordingly, Air India will operate three flights between Delhi and Kyiv on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The flights to the Boryspil International Airport from India will be operated on February 22, 24 and 26.

On Thursday, the Centre removed the restrictions on the number of flights and seats between India and Ukraine, evidently to facilitate the return of students and professionals stranded in the East European nation due to the ongoing tensions with Russia.

"The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has removed the restrictions on the number of flights and seats between India and Ukraine under the 'Air Bubble' arrangement," the Ministry said in a statement.

Thus, any number of flights, including charter flights, can operate between the two countries.

"Indian airlines have been informed to mount the flights due to increase in demand. MoCA is facilitating in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs," the statement added.

The Centre, through an advisory, had asked Indians in Ukraine to leave the country but reportedly there were no flights available before February 20.

In view of the prevailing situation in Ukraine, a control room has been set up at the External Affairs Ministry to provide information and assistance to the stranded Indians.

India and Ukraine have a travel bubble agreement under which a certain number of flights can operate per week.

The bubble agreement was inked when international travel was suspended in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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