New Delhi, March 1
Three evacuation flights from Romania’s capital Bucharest and Hungary’s capital Budapest came to India on Tuesday with 616 Indian nationals who were stranded in Ukraine due to the Russian military offensive, officials said.
On Tuesday, two flights were operated by IndiGo while one service was operated by Tata Group-owned Air India Express.
India began the evacuation of its citizens from Ukraine’s western neighbours such as Romania and Hungary on February 26. Private Indian carriers have brought back 2,012 Indian nationals in nine special flights till now.
Air India Express operated the Bucharest-Mumbai flight via Kuwait with 182 Indian nationals.
IndiGo operated Budapest-Delhi flight via Istanbul with 216 Indian nationals.
India’s largest carrier also operated Bucharest-Delhi service via Istanbul with 218 Indian nationals.
Meanwhile, IndiGo sent four planes, two to Budapest and two to Rzeszow in Poland, to evacuate Indians. SpiceJet also sent a plane to Kosice in Slovakia for evacuation on Tuesday.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said on February 27 that around 13,000 Indians, mainly college students, are currently stranded in Ukraine.
Ukranian airspace has been shut down since February 24, when the Russian government started its military operations against the country.
In first Indian casualty in the war in Ukraine, a student from Karnataka was killed in shelling in Kharkiv city on Tuesday morning.
External Affairs Ministry confirmed the death of the Indian in a tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine due to the Russian military offensive against that country, sources said on Tuesday.
Indians are travelling by road to Ukraine’s borders with Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland etc, from where they are being taken by the Indian government officials to airports for evacuation flights.
The Indian Embassy in Ukraine on Twitter advised all Indian nationals, including students, to leave Kyiv urgently on Tuesday itself, preferably by available trains or through any other means available.
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