Sushma Swaraj to airlift Indians stuck in Qatar

NEW DELHI: India is set to operate special flights for its citizens to return from blockade-hit Qatar.

“Air India Express will operate special flights between Kerala and Doha from June 25 to July 8. The airline will use 186-seater Boeing 737. Jet Airways will operate extra flights between Mumbai and Doha on Thursday and Friday using its 168-seater B-737,” said an aviation ministry official.

External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had spoken to aviation minister A G Raju this Monday to operate additional flights “to Doha for Indian nationals who were not able to get bookings but needed to reach the country back from Doha.”

Following this, the ministry spoke to airlines who decided to operate these extra flights. “The aviation ministry has assured MEA that all steps necessary for timely movement of Indian nationals from Qatar shall be ensured,” the official said.

Seven countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, have cut off ties with Qatar. Due to this, there are fears that Qatar may run short on essential supplies as Saudi, which sends most of the supplies to Qatar, has closed its borders for traffic to and from the country. Almost 7 lakh Indians live in Qatar.