March 26, 2023

Air India to operate 3 Ukraine flights next week; more being planned due to ‘massive requests’ – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Air India will operate three special flights between India and Ukraine next week, continuing its traditions of coming to the rescue of Indians stranded abraded in crisis times. Given the large number of Indians who wish to come home to safety from Ukraine, the now Tata Group airline said on social media that it is “getting massive requests… in the process of increasing the number.”
“Air India will operate three flights between India-Ukraine (Boryspil International Airport) on February 22, 24 and 26, 2022. Booking open through AI booking offices, website, call centre and authorised travel agents,” the airline tweeted Friday.
When a person replied saying all tickets had been sold and that more flights were needed, AI responded saying it is “in the process of increasing the number” and that those wishing to come back from Ukraine should “keep a watch on AI website/Twitter for latest updates.
India had on Thursday removed the cap on number of Ukraine flights under the current air bubble agreement to facilitate return of Indians from there. The aviation ministry has accordingly informed Indian carriers to operate special flights to Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the aviation ministry had said it “has removed the restriction on number of flights and seats between India and Ukraine in air bubble arrangement. Any number of flights, as well as charters, can operate. Indian airlines have been informed to mount the flights due to increase in demand. Aviation ministry is facilitating in coordination with external affairs ministry.”
Fares have shot up on Ukraine-India route with people booking whatever one-stops are available, since there is only once a week direct on Kiev-India route as of now. The big fear among foreigners in Ukraine is that international airlines may stop flights if the situation worsens further. “The regular Kiev-Delhi one-way fare used to be Rs 26,000. This has now shot up to Rs 60,000,” leading Delhi-based travel agent Anil Kalsi had recently said.
While scheduled international flights remain suspended in India since March 2020, Ukraine is among the 35 countries that have an air bubble agreement with India allowing flights to operate under this special arrangement. No India carrier flies to Kyiv; Ukraine International Airlines currently has a once a week non-stop to Delhi and will double the frequency next month.
Travel portal Yatra spokesperson said: “Direct flights are available on Ukraine International Airlines from India to Ukraine which flies every Monday. From March onwards, the airlines is scheduled to fly twice a week, Monday and Wednesday. One-stop flights such on Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Turkish Airlines, Swiss, Lufthansa, Emirates and Air France fly via their hubs.”


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