24 March 2016 14:48:22 IST

Jet Airways starts pulling out grounded planes from Brussels

Four Jet Airways planes were grounded in the wake of the blasts

Jet Airways on March 24 started pulling out its grounded planes from terror-hit Brussels with the first aircraft landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport at around 1630 hours (Indian time).

This aircraft will operate the airline’s first batch of hundreds of its passengers, who were stranded in the Belgian capital since March 22. The airline has already announced that it will operate three recovery flights to fly the stranded passengers.

“Jet Airways has started the process of flying its aircraft out of Brussels as part of the recovery operations. The first aircraft landed in Amsterdam at 1200 hours (local time) from Brussels as a ferry flight,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said.

According to a source, four Jet Airways planes were grounded at the Brussels airport after the authorities decided to shut the operations in the wake of the blasts.

While three of these aircraft will fly with passengers, the fourth one is expected to fly empty to New Delhi, the source said.

The airline had evacuated all stranded passengers from Brussels on March 23 in 15 special coaches and transported them to Amsterdam by road facilitate their journey to Mumbai, Delhi and Toronto.

The airline had earlier announced the first recovery flight, 9W 1227, will depart from Amsterdam for Mumbai at 1400 hours (local time) while the one for New Delhi (9W 1229) will depart at 1600 hours (local time).

Besides, Jet Airways is also operating a recovery flight (9W 1230) to Toronto from Amsterdam, which will leave the Dutch capital at 1800 hours, according to the spokesperson.

The Mumbai-based airline, however, did not give the number of flyers who were stuck at the Brussels airport due to the blasts, which left over 30 people killed and several injured including two crew members of Jet Airways.

Amsterdam will become Jet Airways European gateway for its international operations from March 26.

As of now Brussels airport, which is closed even today for passenger flights, continues to serve as Jet Airways’ hub for overseas operations for Europe and beyond.