Flag carrier Air-India is gearing up to fly Indians stranded in strife-torn Lebanon back home, a move reminiscent of its operation to evacuate citizens from Kuwait after Iraq invaded that country in 1991.
"This will not affect the normal schedule of the carrier. There are around 12,000 Indians affected by the sudden outburst of war. But, not all of them want to return immediately. We have made arrangements for their safe return to the motherland," AI spokesperson J Bhargav said.
In 1991, Air-India had rescued thousands of Indians from the Gulf country, pushing the airline deeper into red.
The national carrier will fly two aircraft between Cyprus and India every alternate day.
Though this would not affect the commercial operations of the airline and the Government had assured necessary compensation for the operations, the national carrier, which came out of red less than five years ago, will bear added burden due to this national obligation.
"The Government assured compensation... But it's just the operational expenditure. There would not be any profit out of this," A-I sources said.
The journey from Cyprus, where some 12,000 Indians were shifted by the Indian Navy, involves air travel of around six hours.