To bring back Indian citizens stuck in blockade-hit Qatar, India will operate special flights from next week.
“Air India Express will operate special flights between Kerala and Doha from June 25 to July 8. The airline will use 186-seater Boeing 737. Jet Airways will operate extra flights between Mumbai and Doha on Thursday and Friday using its 168-seater B-737,” said an official from the Indian Aviation Ministry.
Following the Qatar crisis, Sushma Swaraj, Indian External Affairs Minister, had spoken to Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju this Monday to operate additional flights to Doha for Indian nationals who were not able to get bookings but needed to reach the country back from Doha.
Raju said that Air India and private airlines will operate additional flights to Doha from Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai.
“All steps necessary for timely movement of our citizens from Doha will be ensured. I and Sushma Swaraj are in touch on this issue,” Raju tweeted.
While Air India will operate special flights between Kerala and Doha from June 25 to July 8, Jet Airways will operate extra flights between Mumbai and Doha.
Raju said the government is also in talks with other private airlines to start special flights.
The situation in Qatar worsened on June 5 as seven countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, severed ties with Qatar. Due to this, there are fears that Qatar may run short on essential supplies as Saudi, which sends most of the supplies to Qatar, has closed its borders for traffic to and from the country. Almost 7 lakh Indians live in Qatar.
India is keeping a close watch on the situation in Qatar and is operating special flights for those who want to return.