Air India’s first flight to Mumbai with Indians from Ukraine takes off from Romania

Air India’s first evacuation flight departed from the Romanian capital Bucharest on Saturday afternoon for Mumbai with 219 Indian nationals who were stranded in Ukraine due to the Russian military offensive, officials said.

The airline’s second evacuation flight departed from Delhi at 11.40 AM and is expected to land in Bucharest at around 6.30 PM (Indian Standard Time), they noted.

Indian nationals, who reached the Ukraine-Romania border by road, have been taken to Bucharest by the Indian government officials so that they can be evacuated in the Air India flights, they said.

The first evacuation flight AI1944 departed from Bucharest at 1.55 PM (Indian Standard Time) and is expected to land at the Mumbai airport at around 9 PM, they said.

The second evacuation flight AI1942 is expected to return to the Delhi airport on early Sunday morning with another 250 Indian nationals, they mentioned.

Air India will operate more flights on Saturday to Bucharest and Hungarian capital Budapest to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since February 24 morning and therefore, the evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest and Budapest.

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.

Once the above-mentioned routes are operational, the Indian nationals travelling on their own would be advised to proceed to the border checkpoints, it noted.

The embassy advised Indian travellers to carry their passports, cash (preferably in US dollars), other essential items and COVID-19 vaccination certificates to the border checkpoints.

Print out Indian flag and paste prominently on vehicles and buses while travelling, it said.

The distance between Kyiv and the Romanian border checkpoint is approximately 600 kilometres and it takes anywhere between eight-and-a-half hours to 11 hours to cover it by road.

Bucharest is located approximately 500 kilometres from the Romanian border checkpoint and it takes anywhere between seven to nine hours by road.

The distance between Kyiv and the Hungarian border checkpoint is around 820 kilometres and it takes 12-13 hours by road.

News Source: Business standard

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