Private carrier IndiGo, which is assisting the government in its efforts to rescue the Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine, will operate six additional evacuation flights on March 2.

The airline, in a statement, said two flights each will be operated via Istanbul, from Delhi to the Hungarian city of Budapest and Poland’s Rzeszow. Two more flights will be sent from Mumbai to Romania’s Bucharest via Istanbul, it added.

All these six flights which will arrive back with the citizens in Delhi “will also be part of Government of India’s Operation Ganga initiative”, IndiGo noted.

Under Operation Ganga, the government is acting in a coordinated manner to evacuate Indians stranded in Ukraine to the neighbouring countries – Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia – and subsequently bring them back to India via specially operated evacuation flights.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on February 28 said around 8,000 Indian nationals in Ukraine returned over the past month, and a total of 1,396 Indians were brought back in the evacuation flights being operated since the past week.

The government has sent four senior Union ministers – Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and V K Singh – to the countries neighbouring Ukraine to monitor the evacuation operations.

Scindia would be overseeing the evacuation efforts from Romania and Moldova, while Rijiju was to travel to Slovakia, officials said, adding that Puri will go to Hungary and Singh will be in Poland.

The decision to send the ministers came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that ensuring the safety of Indian students and evacuating them is the government’s top priority.

Modi, who spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on February 27, expressed his concern for the thousands of Indian students who are stranded in the country. On February 28, Modi also spoke to Eduard Heger, the Prime Minister of neighbouring Slovak, to discuss the evacuation of Indians.
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