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IANS

As hostilities continue between Russia and Ukraine, the Tata Group-led Air India will mount direct flights to Romania and Hungary for bringing back stranded Indians.

Romania and Hungary share land borders with Ukraine.

Many Indian nationals, including students, have made their way into these countries from Ukraine.

Air India will operate two flights, one each from Delhi and Mumbai, to Bucharest (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary) on Saturday as special government charter flights.

These flights will be operated on Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which have a capacity of 254 passengers per plane.

"Air India has always been playing a pivotal role, standing by the nation during any crisis and now, inspired by the common mission shared by the Tata group and AI of serving the nation & its people first," the airline said late on Friday night.

"Our employees are only too eager to respond to the call of our nation, driven by our values & conviction that 'if we don't do it then who will?'," it added.

Earlier, Air India was operating direct special flights to Kyiv but it had to stop these operations due to a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) issued over the closure of the Ukrainian air space.

In fact, one of Air India's flight bound for Kyiv from New Delhi returned to the national capital's IGI Airport after NOTAM was announced at Kyiv airport on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the airline had carried out the first of its special flight operations ferrying Indian citizens from Ukraine.

Apart from Air India, other Indian operators were expected to start special flight services to Ukraine.

Last week, the Centre removed the restrictions on the number of flights and seats between India and Ukraine, evidently to facilitate the return of Indian students and professionals stranded in the east European nation due to the ongoing tensions with Russia.

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