First flight with students arrives

Union Minister Piyush Goyal welcomes Indian nationals evacuated from crisis-hit Ukraine, on their arrival at the airport in Mumbai on Saturday
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Union Minister Piyush Goyal welcomes Indian nationals evacuated from crisis-hit Ukraine, on their arrival at the airport in Mumbai on Saturday

Highlights

  • Second batch to arrive today around 10.30 am
  • 22 Telugus are said to be among the returnees

Hyderabad: The first special flight carrying 219 Indian students reached Chhatrapati Sivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai around 7.50 pm on Saturday. The second flight with about 200 students would be reaching New Delhi on Sunday morning around 10.30 am. It is learnt that there are about 22 Telugu students in the two flights and of them five are from Andhra Pradesh.

Following escalation of war between Russia and Ukraine, the Government of India had sent two Air India flights to Bucharest Airport. The first aircraft from Mumbai landed at Henri Coanda International Airport at 10.30 am and left Bucharest airport at 11.45 am.

The return journey of the flights was inordinately delayed as the buses carrying the students from Kyiv were still a long way from Bucharest airport. They had to travel about 900 km. It is learnt that the situation in Kyiv is still not favourable for speedy evacuation of the students and still many are taking shelter in bunkers and Metro stations.

The Government of India is ready to operate any number of aircraft that is necessary to evacuate the students and other Indians stranded in Ukraine. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, "Our teams are working on the ground round-the-clock. I am personally monitoring,"

Governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh deputed officials to both Mumbai and Delhi airports to receive Telugu students and to arrange onward free passage to their native places.

The Telugu students will be taken to the TS and AP Bhavan and from there they are likely to be sent to their respective destinations on Monday.

The officials of Ministry of External Affairs advised the stranded Indians in Ukraine, especially students, not to venture out without advice from Indian Embassy as the situation is critical. Meanwhile, Poland and Bulgaria are said to have closed their air space. However, efforts are on to evacuate others via Bucharest and Hungary.

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