UAE's Mohamed bin Zayed sends condolences to 'friend' PM Modi after Air India plane crash

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 09, 2020, 01.52 PM(IST)

PM Modi with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

India's relations with the UAE are "at their best ever" as bilateral ties have been elevated from a mere "buyer-seller" to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership in the last four years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said last year.

The Air India Express passenger plane crash came as a shared loss for both New Delhi and Abu Dhabi as the flight was repatriating Indians stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE. 

The Boeing-737 flight from Dubai to Calicut International Airport, carrying 190 passengers and crew, overshot the runway in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday. Eighteen of the 190 passengers and crew, including both pilots, died, officials said on Saturday.

Kerala is also grappling with rising number of coronavirus cases, and flooding and landslides due to heavy rains.

To this end, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, tweeted to show solidarity with "friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi in these trying times.

"We share our heartfelt condolences with our friend PM @narendramodi and all the people of India affected by the tragic plane accident, and the recent flooding. You remain in our prayers during these difficult times," he posted on Twitter.

×

It was India’s worst passenger aircraft accident since 2010, when another Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at Mangalore, a city in the south, and slid down a hill, killing 158 people.

India's relations with the UAE are "at their best ever" as bilateral ties have been elevated from a mere "buyer-seller" to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership in the last four years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said last year as he highlighted the excellent rapport between the leadership of the two countries.

The two nations quite often indulge in exchanging workforce. Many Indians are happily settled in UAE and had been earning well until the coronavirus pandemic struck.

It was only after the lockdown started to wreak havoc on the economy that several firms in UAE dried up, and the Indian nationals had to be repatriated.

India had closed international travel on March 25 as part of the nationwide lockdown. 

The Narendra Modi-led government then commenced the world’s largest repatriation operations from May 7, in a bid to help stranded people reach their destinations amid the pandemic.