Evacuated Indians thank Air India, government


Mumbai : More than 300 Indians evacuated from Egypt, which is in the midst of a political upheaval, Monday reached Mumbai on a special Air India flight and thanked the government and the airline for coming to their rescue.

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“The Boeing-747 brought back 320 passengers this afternoon,” an airline spokesperson said.

“Our scheduled Mumbai-Jeddah flight will be further sent to Cairo this evening to pick up more Indians,” he added.

The passengers were all praise for government, the airline and the Indian embassy in Egypt for being prompt in responding to the crisis situation.

Mumbai’s Ragini and Vineet Ahuja, who went to Egypt for their honeymoon, were relieved to be back. “We thank Air India and the Indian government for making efforts to bring us back to India as soon as possible,” they said.

Passengers, however, said that it was not an easy wait. “People waited at the Cairo airport for as long as 30 hours to get a flight out. There is a complete chaos there,” said Devina Chakravarty from Tata Steel, who had gone there for a three-day conference as part of a 300-strong delegation.

“As many as 200 of us managed to board this flight. Nearly 100 people from my company are still waiting to be flown out of Cairo,” she added.

Flight schedules in and out of Egypt have been disrupted in the past few days after anti-government protests broke out there seeking the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for more than three decades.

Nearly 150 people have been killed and hundreds injured in the clashes. Around 1,000 people have been arrested across the country since the protests broke out five days ago.