1990 Airlift Of Indians From Kuwait : The Largest Ever Air Evacuation
Hello friends. Almost all of you must have watched "Airlift" movie starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur. It made us aware about the biggest and most successful operation carried out by India. However, the film was short on facts. Here are the record breaking facts of the 1990 Airlift.
- On 2nd August, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait at the orders of Saddam Hussain, millions of people were rendered homeless.
- At that time, around 170000 Indians were living in Kuwait.
- The Iraqi army looted the city and people suffered a lot.
- Something has to be done to evacuate 170000 Indians stucked in the war ravaged country.
- So, the Indian government officials went to Kuwait to meet Saddam Hussein.
- The government along with Indian Airforce and Air India started the operation for the same.
- The main credit of the evacuation goes to the MEA and some Indians living in Kuwait like Mathunny Mathews. There was no "Ranjit Katyal"(the movie character) involved in it.
- Initially, a few military aircrafts were arranged for the evacuation but due to a lengthy air space clearance procedure, they turned to Air India.
- Air India holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people evacuated by a civil airliner.
- In the operation, 488 flights were done in just 59 days.
- The Indian Air Force deployed its IL 76 aircraft for a steady communication link between Kuwait and Delhi government officials.
- There was also a Pakistani Airline crew stranded in Kuwait and they wished to be evacuated by Indian aircrafts. On humanitarian grounds, the Indian officials agreed.
- The successful operation that started on August 14 1990, continued for almost 2 months and created history, finally coming to an end on October 11.
By this successful operation, India again went high in respect of pride, humanity, courage and the love for country and countrymen.