A Chabad hasid who became trapped in Kazakhstan due to the coronavirus has been brought back to Israel thanks to Israir Airlines.
The story began three weeks ago when Shmulik Kravitsky posted an urgent request for help on the 'Hul Mehudar' Whatsapp group. which brings together senior executives from the tourism and aviation industries.
"Please listen to the story of the hasid who came to assist activities in Kazakhstan at the beginning of winter and became stuck in the country due to the expiration of his passport. Because of the coronavirus crisis there was no way to extend his passport and no flights were available to return him to Israel. In addition, because his passport expired, the authorities began searching for him because he was now in the country illegally," the request stated.
Israir Airlines CEO Uri Sirkis saw the request and decided to assist in bringing the young man home. He contacted Shmulik Kravitsky and informed him that an Israir cargo plane returning from China would make a stopover in Kazakhstan to pick up the hasid and return him to Israel.
Sirkis requested that the young man coordinate with the authorities in Kazakhstan and that he be at the airfield at the specified hour. He said that Israir would take care of the obtaining the exceptional approvals required to get him on the cargo flight.
However, the approvals were not obtained by the time the first plane landed, and the young man remained in Kazakhstan. A second plane was required to bring him to Israel. Israir claimed the hasid as a staffer and succeeded in renewing his passport, allowing him to be brought back to Israel.