Published on : Friday, April 10, 2020
Switzerland’s flag carrier SWISS Airlines announced that it has launched a special rescue flight, LX154, from Zurich to Mumbai and New Delhi on behalf of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The rescue flight is being operated at a time when no international flights are operating to and from India due to the global air traffic lockdown.
The flight is operating on a wide-bodied A330 aircraft. It left Zurich at 4:00 PM CET on April 8 and arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on April 9 at around 5:15 AM local time. The aircraft will continue the onward journey after a brief layover as LX8915, departing Mumbai at 9:45 PM local time on April 9 and arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi shortly past midnight on April 10.
The return flight, LX147 from Delhi to Zurich, will depart one and a half hours later at 1:35 AM local time the same day, April 10. It will carry Swiss and other European nationals home amid the ongoing travel restrictions and border closures due to coronavirus pandemic.
George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales, Lufthansa Group said in a press statement that Lufthansa Group airlines are an integral part of the critical infrastructure of their home countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium. He mentioned that the airline is bestowed with the duty and privilege to bring people back to their homes in the time of an unprecedented global crisis. He also appreciated the government officials in India and Switzerland for providing help with the special flight.
Lufthansa Group airlines – SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, and Eurowings have launched 220 special flights back to the home countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium, involving more than 40,000 holidaymakers since mid-March. The airline is also preparing for more than 70 further flights. Wide-body aircraft like the Boeing 747, Airbus A380, Airbus A330/340, and Airbus A350 are being used to provide as much capacity as possible on these return flights.