AIRLIFT OF INDIAN CITIZENS FROM TURKMENISTA
The CoviD-19 pandemic has left people stranded and struck far and wide across the world with more than millions still longing to reach back to their motherland. A similar case was reported in Turkmenistan where a group of Indian citizens, mostly working in the Oil & Gas sector of the oil rich Ex Soviet country were stranded since the lockdown. Aviation company Air Aspire had reached out to the Indian Embassy in Ashgabat with an offer to facilitate a special charter flight to bring back Indian citizens and send cargo supplies to the embassy via air.
Air Aspire arranged a 220-seater Airbus A320 aircraft which reached Turkmenabad, Turkmenistan on Saturday 26-09-2020 crossing the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan late at night and in co-ordination with the local government, picked up the stranded Indian nationals and landed back in India around midnight. The passengers also included two Afghan nationals who were given emergency medical visa by the Government of India on humanitarian basis. Upon landing back in India, the passengers on the flight expressed their delight and felt welcome after touching down on the soil of India, there was a special ceremony held at IGI airport, New Delhi for the passengers.
Air Aspire CEO, Rajat Bhardwaj told us that they are constantly in touch with Indian Embassies around the world since May , 2020 for the extraction of Indian citizens stuck around and they are giving special focus on countries which are currently not in the schedule of Vande Bharat flights; they are also planning such flights in the coming days from Laos, Cyprus and Armenia etc. “India being one of the countries with the highest number of expats around the world needs to boost up the repatriation process and pool in all resources including government and private”, said the company COO Ms Neha Chandra.
The company officials also told us that in these times of pandemic, they are looking forward to conduct more such flights from far flung countries around the world to repatriate Indian Citizens and after the announcement by the Honorable Prime Minister to promote homegrown brands, Air Aspire which is registered under the Start up India scheme has been getting better response in terms of opportunities and credibility. Air Aspire is also conducting similar missions for other countries in order to provide India based aircraft charter solutions worldwide to promote India as the upcoming aviation hub.