Coronavirus Evacuation Ops: Air India Has Proved Why it is Called ‘Maharaja’ By Saving Stranded Citizens

The Centre issued an announcement on Thursday stating no worldwide flights can be allowed to land in India from March 22 onward for a interval of 1 week. However, Air India, nation’s nationwide air service is consistently flying to numerous international locations to convey again Indian nationals caught as a consequence of Coronavirus Pandemic.

The coronavirus loss of life toll has gone as much as 11,397 with greater than 275,427 circumstances reported in over 160 international locations and territories. Italy has overtaken China because the worst-hit with over over 4,000 deaths reported up to now.

On Sunday, an Air India’s Boeing 777 ER plane landed at Delhi airport carrying 263 college students evacuated from Rome. The flight took off on Saturday afternoon to evacuate Indians stranded there amid the coronavirus disaster.

— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) March 22, 2020

While international locations internationally are closing their borders and airways are additionally shutting operations, Air India has proved its value by evacuating hundreds of stranded Indians, principally from China, Iran and Italy, all of that are worst hit by COVID-19.

Last week too, Air India flew a particular flight to Milan and ferried 230 stranded Indians. Interestingly, Air India, regardless of its heroic efforts, has been on the centre of controversies for years now. While Air India is at all times hounded for its loss-making enterprise, many do not just like the service of the nationwide service.

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Over the years, individuals have mocked Air India for his or her meals, flight delays, aged flight crew and now, over the federal government’s effort to denationalise the nationwide service.

Despite this, Air India, for years, has been a face for India’s international rescue missions, each time wanted. Back in 1990, Air India evacuated 1.7 Lakh individuals from Kuwait throughout the Persian Gulf War, in what’s known as the ‘largest rescue mission by a civil airliner’.

Surely India has Indian Air Force that has time to time helped in evacuating residents from catastrophe hit areas, and has additionally contributed to rescue ops throughout the COVID-19 disaster by sending missions to China, however IAF has its personal limitations, each operational and political.

That is the place Air India has proved its mettle. Ever for the reason that complete coronavirus outbreak began, Air India has despatched a number of flights to overseas land for evacuating not solely Indians, but additionally overseas nationals on demand from pleasant overseas governments.

On Feb 1, an Air India 747 flew to Wuhan, the then epicentre of Coronavirus to rescue 324 stranded Indians, one of many earliest rescue ops by any authorities globally. A day later, the identical plane rescued 323 extra Indians together with 7 Maldivian nationals.

No different airline in India has such huge fleet and expertise to fly worldwide routes as Air India and we will solely hope that the privatization will convey the perfect out of Air India.

With Inputs from PTI

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This post was last modified on March 24, 2020 9:32 pm

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