MANGALURU: Ordeal for 113 stranded transit passengers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport ended when a special Air Asia flight (AXM 13) departed Kuala Lumpur for Chennai at 9.30pm (Malaysia time) and landed at Chennai at 10.35pm (IST). These included 111 passengers stranded at Kuala Lumpur International Airport terminal 1 and rest from KLIA terminal 2. This is the third batch of stranded transit passengers to make it to India from Malaysia.
Air Asia had recently operated special flights from KLIA to Visakhapatnam and New Delhi carrying stranded transit passengers. The ministry for civil aviation too had permitted Air Asia to operate empty special flights from Malaysia to India to ferry stranded Malaysians back home. Post this special flight, around 300 Indians continue to be stranded in Malaysia and they have been accommodated in gurudwaras and other Indian community halls.
Exceptional gestures of mutual goodwill by @MalaysiaMFA @MEAIndia @PMOIndia and @MIC_Malaysia in getting stranded I… https://t.co/Sa7ZmOz0rc
— India in Malaysia (@hcikl) 1584978971000
Esther Padma, an aide to Malaysian minister told TOI that passengers from various states at KLIA 1 were shifted to KLIA 2 from where the flight departed. With Malaysian government already having implemented movement control order (MCO) there, it will be some time before other stranded Indians – including Mahima Gupta and Navin Mallya, medical interns from Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru can pack their backs and head back home.
Esther said local NGOs in Malaysia are taking care of Indians still left behind there to the best extent possible amid the shutdown. Some of them have rendered selfless service without taking a single Ringgit from me, Esther said. In a sombre note amidst the gloom, Esther recalled the gesture by an NGO that sent over 450 litres of rasam to help feed stranded Indians at the various accommodations. “This ubiquitous rasam was a life saver for many,” she said.