An Air India Boeing aircraft, which departed from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport here for Romanian capital Bucharest early morning on Saturday to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Ukraine due to the Russian military offensive, is expected to arrive here at 8 pm, the airport operator said. CSMIA, in a statement, also said it has blocked a special corridor for the arriving passengers.
Air India flight AI-1944 had departed from Mumbai at 3.38 am and landed in Bucharest at around 10.45 am, an AI official had earlier said. The Ukrainian airspace has been closed for civil aircraft operations since the morning of February 24 and therefore, the evacuation flights are operating out of Bucharest and Budapest.
The private airport operator said it has fenced in a special area at the facility for the arriving passengers to sit and will also provide them with free Wi-Fi codes, distribute food and water bottles. They will also be provided with any guidance or medical assistance if required at the time of arrival, it said.
The airport has blocked a special corridor for the arriving passengers, CSMIA said, adding as per the guidelines laid down by the government, the Airport Health Organization (APHO) team at the facility will be conducting mandatory temperature checks. Passengers would be required to produce either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR test report at the time of arrival. In case any passenger is not able to show any of the documents at the time of arrival, they will have to undergo RT-PCR testing at the airport, where the cost would be borne by the airport, it said.
These passengers would be able to leave the airport post-testing negative. Before the closure of the Ukrainian airspace, Air India had operated one flight to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on February 22 that brought 240 people back to India.
It had planned to operate two more flights on February 24 and February 26 but it could not do so as the Russian offensive began on February 24 and the Ukrainian airspace was consequently shut down.