Repatriation flight from Israel lands in Rīga Monday evening

On October 16 evening, a repatriation flight from Israel provided by airBaltic landed at Riga airport. Nine days after the attacks launched by the terrorist group Hamas, Latvian residents also had the opportunity to leave the country on a special evacuation flight.

The plane, with all 149 seats full, arrived at Riga airport at around 19:00.

As Latvian Television observed, families welcomed their loved ones at the airport with flowers and balloons. Loved ones interviewed said there had initially been a major shock when they learned of the Hamas terrorist attacks and the main thought had been how to return their relatives to safety.

Meanwhile, most of those who arrived in Latvia tonight live permanently in Israel. They said there was worry at the moment about those who remained in Israel.

Beata: “It came as good news to us that the repatriation flight will take place and now I'm expecting my 5 grandchildren and daughter. My son-in-law stayed to protect his homeland.” 

Sabina: “There was a dilemma. On the one hand, I didn't want to leave my family there, on the other hand, of course I thought of the children. And so we decided we'd go anyway.” 

Reisa: “Well, I got to hear that siren and how people fled!Hid... Horror! God forbid, to see it and feel it all.”

No additional repatriation flights from Israel are currently scheduled, however, if there is demand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promises to address the issue.

Latvian Ambassador to Israel Aivars Groza told Latvian Radio previously that about 5,000 Latvian citizens live in Israel. Many Latvians left Israel in advance on flights organized by Lithuania, France, and Greece.

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