Air India flight leaves from Mumbai to Bucharest to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine | Mobility News

An Air India flight left Mumbai airport on Saturday morning for the Romanian capital Bucharest to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine due to a Russian military strike.

“The plane, AI1943, left Mumbai airport around 3.40 AM and is expected to arrive at Bucharest airport around 10 AM (Standard Indian Time)”, senior government officials said.

Indians arriving at the Ukraine-Romania border by road were taken to Bucharest by Indian government officials to board an Air India flight, they noted.

Also read: Air India to operate flights to Romania, Hungary on December 26 to evacuate detained Indian nationals from Ukraine

Air India will operate more flights on Saturday to Bucharest and the Hungarian capital Budapest to evacuate Indian nationals already known in Ukraine.

The airport in Ukraine has been closed for civil aviation services since the morning of March 24, and as a result, evacuation planes are operating in Bucharest and Budapest.

“Around 20,000 Indians, primarily students, are currently suffering in Ukraine,” the officials said.

Prior to the closure of the Ukrainian airport, Air India had flown a flight to the Ukrainian capital on February 22 carrying 240 people back to India.

It is planned to operate two more planes on February 24 and February 26. However, it could not do so as the Russian offensive began on February 24, and the Ukrainian air force was blown up as a result.

Air India said on Twitter on Friday night that it would operate flights on the B787 from Delhi and Mumbai to Bucharest and Budapest on Saturday as special government planes to fly back restricted Indian nationals.

On Friday, the Indian government in Ukraine said it was working to establish evacuation routes from Romania and Hungary.

“Currently, the group is in the world at the following checkpoints: Chop-Zahony border Hungarian near Uzhhorod, border Porubne-Siret Romania near Chernivtsi,” he said.

“Indians, especially students near the border checkpoints, are advised to go in a coordinated manner with teams from the External Ministry to implement this option , ”The agency said.

Once the aforementioned methods have worked, Indians traveling on their own will be advised to proceed to the border checkpoints, he noted.

The foreign ministry encouraged Indian tourists to bring their passports, currency (especially in US dollars), other essentials and COVID-19 vaccination certificates to border checkpoints.

“Print the Indian flag and stick it specifically on vehicles and buses during the journey,” he said.
The distance between Kyiv and the Romanian border checkpoint is approximately 600 kilometers, and it takes anywhere between eight and a half to 11 hours to cover by road.

Bucharest is approximately 500 kilometers from the Romanian border checkpoint, and takes anywhere between seven and nine hours to cover the distance by road.

The distance between Kyiv and the Hungarian border checkpoint is about 820 kilometers, and it takes 12-13 hours to cover by road.

Includes inputs from PTI

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