New Delhi: The first Air India plane from Ukraine landed in Delhi carrying more than 240 passengers at around 11.40 pm on Tuesday night, news agency PTI reported.
“Around 250 Indians and students belonging to various states are returning from Ukraine to Delhi tonight. More flights in the coming days to help Indians return,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted.
News agency ANI shared a video where the passengers can be seen cheering and smiling after they had landed safely in Delhi.
The airline is operating a Boeing 787 aircraft to bring back Indians stuck in Ukraine amid the country’s rising tensions with Russia. There will be three flights of Air India, which will bring back Indian nationals. The other two flights are scheduled for February 24 and February 26.
The flights are scheduled to take off from the Boryspil International Airport in Ukraine. Last week, the airlines opened the bookings through their website, offices, call centre and authorised travel agents.
The Indian Embassy in Ukraine has also advised Indian students to leave temporarily in the interest of their own safety. The Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued an advisory saying, “Students are advised, in the interest of safety, to leave Ukraine temporarily, rather than wait for an official confirmation from universities.”
India at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Ukraine earlier said the safety of more than 20,000 citizens in Ukraine is of utmost priority as escalation of tensions along Ukraine-Russia border have the potential to undermine peace and security of the region.
The US and allies had requested an emergency meeting of the UNSC following Russia’s recognition of separatist territories in Ukraine as independent and deploying its troops as peacekeepers.
Speaking at the UNSC meet on Monday, India’s Permanent Representative TS Tirumurti stressed on the safety and security of civilians and said that the “well-being of Indian nationals is of priority to us”.
He said, “Over 20,000 Indian students and nationals live and study in different parts of Ukraine, including in its border areas.”
He further said, “Escalation of tension along the border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation have the potential to undermine the peace and security of the region.