Jet Airways to evacuate Indians from Libya

March 2nd, 2011 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Private airline Jet Airways will operate its first flight to Tripoli, the capital of strife-torn Libya, Wednesday night to evacuate Indians stranded there, a Jet official said.

“We would be able to fly to Tripoli by midnight (Wednesday) from Delhi after all the clearances and (if the) passenger list is sorted out,” a senior airline official told IANS Wednesday.

According to him, the company would operate a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Delhi to the Libyan capital, with a passenger capacity of about 178.

“The aircraft would land somewhere in the Middle East to re-fuel and return to Delhi from Tripoli,” the official said.

The private airline was roped in along with other private carrier Kingfisher Airlines to bring back Indians stranded in Libya.

Kingfisher Airlines said that it was working out last-minute modalities with the government, including passenger list and the aircraft type, before bringing Indians from Libya.

“We are on it and the last-minute modalities are being worked out,” said a Kingfisher official.

National carrier Air India was so far the sole airline involved in evacuating Indians out of Libya. Four Air India special flights have evacuated around 1,200 Indians.

Two special Air India flights from Tripoli - Airbus A-330 and Boeing 747 - arrived at Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport early Tuesday, an official said.

The Airbus A-330 had 266 passengers, while the Boeing 747 had 331 passengers.

The government said that it had made arrangements for three daily special flights from Tripoli and was firming up other arrangements to bring back Indians in Libya.

“Arrangements have since been finalised with Libya to receive three special flights daily from India at Tripoli over the next 10 days,” an external affairs ministry official said here Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Tuesday that the government was using commercial flights, chartered flights and shipping lines to evacuate stranded Indians.

The navy Saturday sent three ships, including the troop carrier INS Jalashwa and the destroyer INS Mysore for the evacuation. The ships would transport stranded Indians to Alexandria in Egypt, from where they would fly back home.

The evacuation is the biggest mounted by India after the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that forced thousands of Indians in the country to flee to Jordan capital Amman, from where they were flown home on Air India aircraft.

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