New Delhi: A special Air India special flight returned to Delhi on Thursday as Ukraine closed airspace for civilian flights in the wake of Russia’s declaration of war in the crisis-hit country. The flight had taken off Thursday morning at around 7:30 to bring back stranded Indians, especially students from Ukraine.
News agency ANI reported that Air India special flight AI-1947 was en route to Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv. However, it was decided to turn back following the issuance of a NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions).
This was the second flight that had taken off from New Delhi to bring home stranded Indians in Ukraine. The first landed in Delhi on Wednesday midnight.
On February 18, Air India had announced that it would operate three Vande Bharat Mission flights between India and Ukraine. The flights were scheduled on February on 22, 24, and 26 for Indians, who were stranded in the crisis-hit country.
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.
US stands with Ukraine
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden promised to extend support to Ukraine and that the world will hold Russia accountable for the military operation. Biden called the attack “unprovoked and unjustified”.
“My prayers are with the people of Ukraine as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” Biden said in an address.