May 07, New Delhi – Air India, today, felicitated employees who were part of the recent relief operations in Yemen. Around 50 employees were presented a shield and cash award each in recognition of their efforts, by Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation, at a ceremony in New Delhi today. The list of recipients includes around 100 more employees, who could not be present due to operational requirements. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Tourism and Culture and Shri V.Somasundaran, Secretary Civil Aviation were also present.
From April 3-9 and on 14, Air India operated a total of 19 flights between Djibouti and Sana’a to bring out 3614 evacuees out of Sana’a. Of these, 682 were foreigners and 2932 Indian nationals. 6 A321 and 6 B777 flights were operated from Djibouti to Kochi and Mumbai. Air India evacuated more than 50% of the total evacuees.
Welcoming the guests, Shri Rohit Nandan, CMD, Air India said the airline has carried out many rescue operations in the past, but this was, by far, the most complicated operation. “I salute these employees who went out of their way in a live war zone to bring out Indians stranded on a foreign land,” he said. He thanked the Ministers for External Affairs who provided “guidance, support, planning and inspiration during the difficult operation.”
Addressing the audience, Shri Raju applauded the team for being “not unmindful” but rather “being conscious of the danger”. “It is for the first time that I have heard other nations requesting India to assist in evacuating their nationals,” he added. “You have done us proud and I am confident that whenever the country needs the services of an Air Indian, you will be available.”
“You have brought laurels to our country,” said Dr Mahesh Sharma, adding that “we need to appreciate such efforts. Appreciation is a great motivator.”