India is set for another airlift after the much-talked about Kuwait airlift in 1990. The Indian government is set to airlift its citizens from crisis-hit Qatar next week onwards and special flights are being operated for the purpose.
While the Air India Express will operate special flights between Kerala and Doha between June 25 and July 8 to airlift the stranded citizens, Jet Airways too will fly special flights from Mumbai to Doha.
"Jet Airways will operate a 168-seater aircraft on June 22 and June 23. Air India subsidiary Air India Express will be flying its 186-seater Boeing 737 on Thiruvananthapuram-Doha and Cochin-Doha routes from June 25 to July 8," News18 quoted a senior official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation as saying.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj spoke to Civil Aviation Minister
Ashok Gajapathi Raju who assured that all the steps will be taken to ensure that Indians in Qatar come back safely. "All steps necessary for timely movement of our citizens from Doha will be ensured. I and @SushmaSwaraj ji are in touch on this issue," he later tweeted.
Raju also went on to explain that the nearly 7 lakh Indians in Qatar weren't stranded and many of them could not get tickets to fly back home due to the sudden surge in demand for air tickets.
Qatar has been making news since seven Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have severed diplomatic ties with the country, which has been accused of funding terrorism.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain had banned the use of their airspace for flights to and from Doha, but later changed their decision and the ban now applies to only Qatar carriers. Due to this, Qatar is also expected to face a shortage of essential commodities.