Air India flight from Romania, carrying 219 Indians evacuated from war-hit Ukraine, landed in Mumbai on Saturday evening. The flight from Bucharest reached the Mumbai airport at 8.01pm, according to a PTI input.
Union minister Piyush Goyal, who received them inside the flight, said, “Since the beginning of this crisis, our main objective was to bring back each and every Indian stranded in Ukraine. As many as 219 students have arrived here. This was the first batch, the second will reach Delhi soon. We’ll not stop until all of them are back home.”
Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar also went to the airport to receive the Indian citizens. “I have come to the airport as the first citizen of Mumbai. We are making all required arrangements for the citizens and students landing at Mumbai. If someone wants stay, we have made arrangements for the same, followed by Covid testing. Vaccination will also be taken care of.”
The ministry of external affairs is making an all-out effort to bring out its citizens from Ukraine where Russia has intensified its offensive leading to a closure of its airspace. The Indian government is trying to evacuate its stranded citizens, about 20,000 of them, through alternative routes. The mission has been named Operation Ganga, as revealed by external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
Soon after, the flight landed, Jaishankar took to Twitter to welcome back the evacuated citizens tagging a tweet of Goyal who was seen speaking to the passengers aboard the Air India flight. “Glad to see the smiles on the faces of Indians safely evacuated from Ukraine at the Mumbai airport. Govt. led by PM Narendra Modi ji is working relentlessly to ensure safety of every Indian,” wrote Goyal along with the tweet.
Issuing an advisory, the Indian embassy in Kyiv advised its citizens against moving to any of the border checkpoints without prior coordination with government officials at border posts. It said the situation at various border checkpoints is sensitive and it is working continuously with the Indian embassies in the neighbouring countries for coordinated evacuation of our citizens.
Earlier in the day, Goyal took to Twitter to state, “Looking forward to receiving the Indian nationals safely evacuated from Ukraine at Mumbai airport. Govt. is working in mission mode to ensure the safety of our citizens.”