New Delhi: India Sunday sent a special Air India flight to Cairo to bring back Indians wanting to return home from Egypt that is caught up in a political turmoil, an external affairs ministry release said.
The flight, with a capacity to carry 300 passengers, will return early Monday.
"The government has arranged a special Air India flight at the request of the Indian community in Egypt in view of the prevailing conditions there. The special flight will carry 300 Indians, mainly women and children. The arrangements are being supervised by the Indian embassy in Cairo," the release said.
Indian Ambassador to Egypt R. Swaminathan said: "An Air India aircraft is expected here (Cairo) at 19.30 pm local time. It will leave for Mumbai at 9 p.m. local time and will hopefully reach there by 6 am Monday."
The 300 Indians are already at the Cairo airport and will board the aircraft as soon as it arrives. The embassy officials are present at the airport to assist them in case they don`t have their passports so that emergency travel papers can be issued.
Flight schedules in and out of Egypt stand disrupted for the last couple of days after anti-government protests broke out there seeking the stepping down of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for over three decades now.
Due to the disruption in flights, the Indian government took a decision to send a commercial aircraft to Cairo to ferry Indians back home if they desired so. Of the 3,600 Indians in Egypt, 2,200 are residents of Cairo.
On Saturday, the external affairs ministry issued an advisory asking Indians to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt. It also noted that its embassy in Cairo was in touch with the Indians living there and they were safe.