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PM Modi Praises Air India Crew for Coronavirus Rescue Op Evacuating 263 Indians from Italy

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi boarding an Air India aircraft. (PTI)

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi boarding an Air India aircraft. (PTI)

The airline said it was alarming that in many localities Air India crew members were facing ostracisation because they travelled abroad to evacuate Indians.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: March 24, 2020, 10:23 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed the crew of Air India which has been evacuating stranded people from coronavirus-hit countries, a day after the airline complained that some "vigilante" resident welfare associations and neighbours were ostracising its crew members who went abroad as part of their duty.

The airline in a press release on Sunday said it was alarming that in many localities Air India crew members were facing ostracisation because they travelled abroad to evacuate Indians.

"Extremely proud of this team of @airindiain, which has shown utmost courage and risen to the call of humanity. Their outstanding efforts are admired by several people across India. #IndiaFightsCorona," the prime minister tweeted.

He tagged a tweet from aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri who said, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going," posting a photograph of the crew of Air India Boeing 777 led by Captain Swati Raval and Captain Raja Chauhan who airlifted 263 Indians, mostly students, stranded in Rome.

Not just the Rome rescue op, Air India also evacuated stranded Indians from Milan last week and was among the first airlines to evacuated Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of Coronavirus.

On Feb 1, an Air India 747 flew to Wuhan, the then epicentre of Coronavirus to rescue 324 stranded Indians, one of the earliest rescue ops by any government globally. A day later, the same aircraft rescued 323 more Indians along with 7 Maldivian nationals.

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