Press Trust of india

Ukraine crisis: 31 evacuation flights to bring back over 6,300 Indians in coming days

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New Delhi:  As many as 31 evacuation flights will be operated to neighbouring countries of crisis-hit Ukraine and will bring back more than 6,300 Indians stranded in the eastern European nation, according to official sources.

Under ‘Operation Ganga’, the flights will be operated by Air India, Air India Express, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Indian Air Force.

From March 2, 21 evacuation flights will be operated to bring back Indians from Bucharest in Romania, while 4 will be from Budapest in Hungary, the sources said.

Further, 4 flights will be operated to bring back people from Rzeszow in Poland and 1 flight from Kocise in Slovakia.

Indian Air Force will be bringing back Indians from Bucharest.

Together, the planned 31 flights — from March 2 till March 8 — will be coming back with more than 6,300 people.

The sources on Wednesday said Air India Express and SpiceJet planes have a capacity for around 180 people while Air India and IndiGo can carry up to 250 and 216 passengers, respectively.

While Air India Express will be operating a total of 7 flights, SpiceJet will press 4 flights into service.

Air India will operate 7 flights and IndiGo will fly back people in 12 flights.

Air India Express and Air India will be flying in people from Bucharest while IndiGo has planned 4 flights each from Bucharest, Budapest and Rzeszow.

SpiceJet will operate 2 flights from Bucharest, 1 from Budapest and 1 from Kocise in Slovakia.

The sources said 9 evacuation flights have brought back Indians stranded in Ukraine since February 26, and around 5-6 flights are “underway”.

Leave Kharkiv immediately: Indian embassy in Ukraine to Indians

In an urgent advisory, the India embassy in Ukraine on Wednesday asked all Indians stranded in Kharkiv to leave the conflict zone immediately.

The embassy asked Indians to proceed to settlements in Pesochin, Babaye and Bezlyudovka as soon as possible.

“For their safety and security, they must leave Kharkiv immediately repeat immediately in the light of the detriorating situation. They should proceed to Pesochin, Babaye and Bezlyudovka as soon as possible for their safety,” the embassy said.

“Under all circumstances, they must reach these settlements by 1800 hours (Ukrainian time) today,” it said.

The advisory did not specify where these places are but according to Google Maps, they appear to be on the outskirts of Kharkiv.

The advisory came amid raging fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv.

Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, a fourth-year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University, was killed in intense shelling in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

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