Low-cost carrier IndiGo on Friday operated special transit flights from five cities for 197 stranded Kenyan citizens who were to fly via Kenyan Airways from Mumbai.
The special flights helped in transfer of 75 citizens from Delhi, 39 from Ahmedabad, 23 from Chennai, 28 from Bengaluru and 32 from Hyderabad, to Mumbai, from where they were flown to Nairobi on a Kenyan Airways flight.
The charter flights were operated on request from Kenya Embassy and all precautionary measures were observed in the flights, IndiGo said.
The first flight operated on Delhi-Ahmedabad-Mumbai route and transferred a total of 114 passengers and the second flight operated on Chennai-Bengaluru-Hyderabad-Mumbai transferring 83 passengers to Mumbai.
"We are pleased to contribute in the evacuation efforts for Kenyan nationals from across the country to Mumbai, from where they were flown to Nairobi by Kenyan Airways. The charter was initiated in coordination with the Kenyan consulate and the Indian government, to help the citizens reach the Mumbai airport from various cities including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad," chief executive officer Ronojoy Dutta said.
"We partnered with IndiGo to facilitate the mobilization of our Kenyan citizens from various cities in the country to Mumbai," H.E. Willy Kipkorir Bett, High Commissioner of Kenya to India said.
While domestic and international scheduled passenger flights have been suspended since March 25 and March 23 respectively, various countries have been operating evacuation flights for their citizens stranded in India at their own cost after necessary approvals from the Indian government. India has also commenced repatriation flights for its citizens abroad with effect from May 7.
As far as IndiGo is concerned, the Gurugram-based airline has been operating cargo flights via its passenger aircraft and some special transit flights for stranded passengers after necessary approvals from authorities.
Recently, IndiGo operated three international cargo flights, to and from Singapore and Maldives. IndiGo flights from Mumbai-Male-Mumbai, Trivandrum-Male-Trivandrum on May 02, 2020 and Mumbai-Bengaluru-Singapore-Mumbai on April 30, 2020 transported over 50 tonne of cargo including pharmaceuticals, fruits and vegetables in the belly and cabin.
As of March 2020, IndiGo was the largest airline in the country with a 48.9 percent market share in domestic air passenger traffic.
First Published: IST