After getting aware of the confusion regarding the number of Indians stranded in a tense Ukraine, Air India announced that it would operate three Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights between India and Ukraine this month. These are scheduled for February 22,24, and 26. The flights will operate to and from Boryspil International Airport, Ukraine’s largest airport. This comes a day after the Indian government revoked restrictions on the number of flights to and from Ukraine under the air bubble arrangement.
#FlyAI : Air India will operate 3 flights between India-Ukraine (Boryspil International Airport) India on 22nd, 24th & 26th FEB 2022
Booking open through Air India Booking offices, Website, Call Centre and Authorised Travel Agents.@IndiainUkraine
— Air India (@airindiain) February 18, 2022
The former Soviet state has been on alert while fearing invasion from neighbouring nations, Russia, which has deployed military, tanks and attack helicopters along its borders.
On Friday, Russia announced that it was withdrawing more tanks and other armoured vehicles from areas near Ukraine’s border after its “scheduled exercises”, which has raised concerns in the Western region.
On Wednesday, the Indian embassy in Ukraine had asked its citizens not to worry over reports of people not getting flight tickets.
“Embassy of India has received several appeals about the unavailability of flights from Ukraine to India. In this regard, students are advised not to panic, but book the earliest available and convenient flights to travel to India,” the embassy had tweeted and added that more flights are being planned in the near future”, including from Air India and Ukrainian International Airlines. However, it did not give more details on the number of flights and the dates then.
On Tuesday, the embassy had advised Indian citizens, especially the students, to temporarily leave that country because of the uncertainties of the current situation.
The Vande Bharat Mission aims to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in various foreign nations due to restrictions on air travel. This mission has brought thousands of Indian nationals back home during the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.