In the evening of August 12, 2023 an important milestone in the Indo-Belarusian partnership was announced in the launching of the first direct scheduled flight on the Minsk-Delhi-Minsk route by Belavia – Belarusian Airlines
The event regarding this important announcement, marking the high-tide of Indo-Belarusian relations was hosted by the Belarusian Embassy in India and the Belavia Airlines. The venue for the same was the pristine and opulent Umrao Hotel located in New Delhi. The day began by a brief address by the Belavian officials, marking out the major details of the scheduled flight. The flight is scheduled as a weekly service with departure from Minsk slated to be on Fridays and from New Delhi on Saturdays. The gathering was further informed that from September 20, 2023 onwards the schedule will include a second flight per week with the departure from Minsk on Wednesdays and from Delhi on Thursdays. The expected departure time from Minsk is expected to be 20:25 (local time), and its expected arrival time in New Delhi is 05:35(local time).The journey from Minsk to New Delhi is foreseen to take nearly 6 hours and 40 minutes. The return flight from Delhi shall be scheduled at 06:55(local time), offloading the passengers will in Minsk by 11:40(local time). This entire journey shall be clocked in 7 hours and 15 minutes.
The solemn event dedicated to the opening of the direct flight was attended by the State Minister for External Affairs of India Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi, representatives of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the airport of New Delhi, tour operators.
This was followed by an interaction with the media persons by the Belavia officials and the Belarusian Ambassador to India.
Question: Where do you locate the introduction of this direct flight between India and Belarus in deepening of the bilateral ties between the two nations?
Answer: Ever since the COVID-19 restrictions ebbed down in the last two years we realized the massive untapped potential of Indo-Belarusian partnership. However, we were stuck by this single biggest challenge of no direct connectivity between the two nations. Earlier it was a tedious task to conduct any business/trade due to a host of travel barriers but with the introduction of the direct flight bilateral trade shall be bolstered. Furthermore, the endless opportunities that Belarus presents to its tourists, especially as an escape to milder climate for Indian tourist shall be more easily navigated along with its picturesque natural heritage such as lakes, flora and fauna.
Question: How has culture been a factor in the strengthening of bilateral Indo-Belarusian relationship?
Answer: Cultural exchanges no doubt serves as an important tool in shaping bilateral ties between two nations. India and Belarus have maintained close cultural ties by way of Special Program for Cultural Exchange singed in 2018 for a period of five years. It was a tremendous success with Children’s Troupe visiting India but unfortunately COVID-19 disrupted such further exchanges. Nevertheless, we are in a process of signing another such program which shall be benefited by the introduction of direct fights.
Question: His Excellency any message for our Envoy Excellency magazine readers?
Answer: I wholeheartedly welcome your readers to visit Belarus and explore its untouched beauty and revel in the safe and a hospitable environment.